Thursday, June 02, 2011

Homeless In Beijing: Take Three

In what is seemingly becoming a regular ritual (see here and here), we have everything in place for a wonderful time in China--airplane tickets, visas, work to be done, plans for seeing people and traveling around the country. The only thing missing?

A place to stay!!!

Yes, once again we are going down to the wire trying to find an apartment in a Chinese neighborhood that will allow four waiguoren to move in for a couple of months.

Although the basics of the situation remain the same as before, there are some new wrinkles that we have added to our search protocols.

We are searching Chinese language websites. Although these searches have been useful language-learning experiences, we have not had any luck actually identifying short-term leases through Chinese agents.

We have expanded our ex pat searches. Yes, we are not keen on living in areas that are heavily populated by waiguoren. But last year it turned out that it was Beijing's Craigslist that provided us with our home for the summer (a wonderful place where we the only foreigners in sight). And so, in addition to Craigslist, we are monitoring the classifieds on The Beijinger's website.

The wild card. Yan Ke, one of our Beijing buddies, has it is his head that we ought to live in a traditional Beijing-style siheyuan (courtyard house). Yan Ke is imagining us sharing quarters with old Beijingers who speak heavily accented Mandarin. It doesn't get any more authentic than that! Go Yan Ke, go!

~Steve

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