Monday, May 20, 2013


So we're moving.  This time, just across town instead of across the globe, so surely things should be easier than every other move we've had in the past five years.  This moving thing has certainly been quite a cultural experience.  Our current landlord let us know about 6 weeks ago that she wanted to start showing the place for other renters to see.  She agreed to let us out of our lease six months early without any consequences, so I wanted to do my best to make our home as marketable as possible for her to find another tenant.  I set to work cleaning and organizing.  I had big dreams to borrow a wide angle lens and take professional-ish pictures of our apartment during the hours of pleasant natural light.  All the while, my househelper was snickering at me.  I couldn't quite figure out why until the real estate agents started showing up.

One after one for an entire afternoon, they knocked on my door, wandered around a bit, and snapped awful pictures with their cell phone cameras.  "Wait!" I wanted to shout.  "Surely we can do better than that!"  But no.  This is what we found posted online the next day.

Hudson's room wasn't in such bad shape.  Besides, it's a kid room and isn't supposed to be perfect.

The same for our bedroom.  Sure, there are boxes in the window sill and contico trunks on the floor but we're about the move.  (Truth of the matter is those boxes & trunks have been sitting there since we got back from America in December.  But that can be our little secret.)

Then things started going downhill.  Apparently, the real estate agent/photographer couldn't be bothered to shut the microwave.  At least the fantastic view and my Texas saltshaker that I found at a random ceramic store in town made it in the picture.  Surely it will allure a Texas-loving Chinese person to want to live here.

Shame upon shame when I saw this picture of Micah & Sam's room.  Now the entire world wide web knows that I use my boys' top bunk for storage.  And that I opted to pile junk in the window instead of buying blackout curtains.  But come to think of it, I'm now posting these incriminating pictures again so I suppose it's just as much my fault as the real estate agent's that my decorating failure has gone public.

Showing our place was but one aspect of the apartment search that has had some unexpected twists.  Finding a new home was a whole other beast.  I'll spare you the gory details and just share the happy news that we signed a three-year contract for a new apartment.  It's a former office for a milk company, so it has no kitchen.  The past few weeks of my life have been scouring Pinterest for kitchen design ideas and trying to communicate them all in Chinese.  Not an easy feat.  Nevertheless, I think I've prevailed and signed off on a sketch yesterday that should be installed in the next 20 days.  What an ordeal!  What a headache!  But surely it will all be worth it!