The next stop on the tour is the living room. This is where we spend most of our time when we’re in the apartment and awake. It’s a nice room and furnished with all of the basic necessities and even a few non-necessities as you’ll see. We’ve covered the furniture with our own sheets, and we arranged the room to our pleasing, so it now feels like home.
We have two couches. The big “L-shaped” one is very comfortable. The small red one one not so much. The couch does provide another place to offer a visitor to crash for a night or six. So consider yourself invited if you want to “stop by” next time you’re in Beijing.
Like the second bedroom, the living room is multi-purpose. In addition to the couch area, it also houses our “office” (basically just a desk and printer). In the back, there is an elevated patio of sorts, which in most Chinese homes is used primarily for drying laundry and storing exercise equipment. While we do use it for that, it also is where we tend to eat breakfast because there’s a good view of the street.
Earlier I mentioned the unnecessary furnishings. That brings me to the story of the fish tank. When Tian first looked at the apartment in July, there was an incredibly dirty fish tank sitting where our printer is now.
When Tian asked the landlord to remove the fish tank before she moved in, the landlord simply refused. Tian then asked that it at least be cleaned. The landlord resisted even that request, saying that only her dad knew how to clean it and he lived in another city. Eventually Tian won part of the battle; they allowed her to clean it and reposition it a little out of the way. They also promised to remove it by January, but we’ll see if that actually happens. At least we can live with it this way! In the meantime, perhaps we can use it as an exhibition case. Any ideas?
I know it’s getting late, and you’ve got to get going. What’s that? You need to use the bathroom. Well why don’t I show you that on your way out. It’s the last room on the tour.