Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Moving to California in Two Weeks

Isn't life strange? In March 2005 my friend Nat signed the contract for my apartment on March 6, and I moved in on March 22, coming from California to Taiwan. Yesterday, on November 6, I signed the contract for my new apartment, and I'll be moving in on November 22! And isn't it funny, the name of the new apartment complex is California Community. This whole thing just tickled me, still here in Taiwan but I'll be living in California again.

It was pouring rain and incredibly windy yesterday when Shannon and I got to Danshui to go look at the apartment. The ad said it was only a 12-minute walk from the station, but judging by the map, we knew that was impossible. After a half an hour walk, mostly uphill, we arrived at the building, completely drenched. The complex is huge, four large buildings around a central area that has a big swimming pool and children's play areas. The apartment is on the 9th floor (I can't recall how many floors in all, maybe 16), and it has a very nice view. It's smaller than my current place, only two bedrooms and no actual dining area, plus only two small balconies instead of the two very large and one small one I have now. But the lighting is awesome, with loads of indirect lighting as well as direct lighting, and the kitchen is nice and big.

The bathroom is miniscule, a tub and a toilet crammed together, with the sink in a separate area outside, rather like many hotels have. Not a problem for me, less to clean, is how I look at it.

I'm not really sure all my furniture will fit, and there's not one closet in the whole place. That's one thing I find incredibly odd about Taiwan apartments, most of them don't have built-in closets. People buy cabinets and wardrobes, or sometimes they have closets built in when they buy a place (like my current pad has two large ones with overhead storage space as well), but you don't get any sort of storage space at all in the apartment! Also, there are no air conditioners in this apartment, which is fine now because it's winter, but come summer I'll have to shell out more money for air con, because the ones I bought for this apartment won't work in the new one. The windows are not the same, so I'll have to buy the kind that half of it is wall mounted on the inside and half is mounted on the outside.

The photo below will be my bedroom, it's the largest. The second room will have the computer and the extra bed, unless I decide to put the computer in my bedroom and a lot of my bedroom furniture in the extra room. We'll see. I'll sure miss the huge built-in desk with shelves and drawers that the current apartment has. I won't be able to display all my cool Wu Bai & China Blue stuff!
The complex has, in addition to the pool, an exercise room with treadmills and weight machines (no more excuses why I'm not exercising!), a squash court, a dance studio (costs extra for a teacher and classes), a reading room, a basketball court, pool and ping pong tables, a movie room, and a meeting room. There's a 24-hour security guard, and I will no longer have to chase the garbage truck, as there is a central trash collection area in the basement, and I can throw it away when it's convenient for me. There's also a generator, so if the power goes out, we'll still have it. Doesn't happen too often, but I do recall the day I was stuck in the elevator for 10 minutes in the middle of summer and thought I'd die. There are also numerous shops and food stands within a few minutes walk, a bus stop right outside the main door with 10 different lines, a bus every three minutes, meaning a quick ride to Danshui MRT station. The landlord is going to draw me a map showing me the shorter way to walk, which really is about 12-15 minutes, piece of cake. More exercise for me, that's a good thing. The apartment is also within walking distance of Tamkang University, where I hope to be enrolled next year (keep those fingers crossed).

The best two things: the rent is $3500NT per month less than what I pay now, so I'll save about $100US per month (can you imagine renting a nice apartment in California USA for $370 per month? I can't.) And we went upstairs to inquire if the apartment above was infested with noisy children, and I can cheerfully report that there is a family with one 7-year-old boy, and their next door neighbor (of whom we made the inquiry) said they are quiet. But if they aren't, I can call the managers, and they will go talk to them, an option I do not have where I am now. Gosh, maybe I'll be able to get a good night's sleep! Also, according to the ad, this house has absolutely fabulous feng shui, so I'm assured of a prosperous future and a happy life - yeah!

I have a lot of packing to do, and I'm not looking forward to shelling out big bucks for a mover, but it's impossible to move it myself. Hopefully I can enlist the help of friends to move the smaller stuff and just pay to move the big things, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I'm sure hoping I won't be required to paint the place I'm leaving, just clean it up nicely. I suppose if she wants me to paint, I'll tell her to take it out of the deposit, I don't have time for that.

So, anyone wanna buy an air conditioner? Make you a hell of a deal.....


Romita said...

How exciting! I know you have a lot of work to do (packing and homework) but I'm very happy for you!

A pool and excercise room?! Awesome!

WuBaiCBFan said...

(Posting from the Chinese blog account, hence the name diff)
I'm not so excited about the pool, because I swim like a rock, and no way am I putting this body in a bathing suit! But, hey, maybe after a few months of using that exercise room, who knows? :)

DZ is already freaking out because of the packing, she thinks I'm going on vacation and leaving her alone.

aetherwellen said...

The new apartment sounds great! Hope your move goes well! Post photos when you're all moved in?