As many of you know, I can make myself at home just about anywhere. Except a strangers sofa maybe. I like quality bedding 😛
Therefore, I almost feel at home here in Beijing and honestly, accommodation quality is way better than I anticipated. I came with an open mind expecting just about anything, both housing and everything else in China. However, with a hick up here and there overall my accommodation is just right (and much better than local students, I tell ya!)
Like I mentioned earlier, checking in was a bit of a hassle with my non-existent Mandarin. Here’s what my building looks like :
We have 24/7 reception and a security guard at night, which seem like a nice bunch, should I speak Chinese, but I’ll get there eventually. What it lacks though, communal areas which makes it harder to meet new people, so you really have to go out of your way to make friends. In comparison to my student accommodation in Sydney, Australia this sucks. We were in heaven back then. But never mind, I make the most of what it is and not what it could be. Like I said, it’s much better than local students and I’ll explain that later.
There are around 10 -15 ppl living on each floor and each floor has two of the following: shower room, toilet, washroom, kitchen. As the building is fairly new and built in summer 2014 its quite nice and clean. My room has two king single beds with surprisingly comfortable hard mattresses, two desks, a telly and a wardrobe. Could do with a second wardrobe really! If I would have a room-mate I would share this room with him. So far i’ve got the whole room to myself! Which is great although sometimes I feel like it would be nice to have someone to chat with in the evening. Oh well, I had a roomie for one night as I moved in, but they have moved him to a different building, much worse I hear..
We have a cleaner, a bunch of them actually – really lovely ladies, that come in every morning, 8am sharp! (thank Emirates for earplugs) and generally just empties the bin. Should I buy a mop? I must enquire.. and then weekly they come and change the sheets which is AWESOME!!! Unless you stain them, then you have to pay a penny or two. I must ask for an extra pillow though, being used to sleeping with 6 (pillows that is!!!) I feel kind of abandoned with just one..
So here’s my room:
The view from my room:
Sink/Hot Water/Washng Machine room 😀
I have no idea how i’m going to use this washing machine just yet..
A kitchen must be the worst part of the housing. Camping kitchen at its best. However, hardly anyone in the building uses the kitchen. Eating out is so cheap here you would not believe, especially on campus! There’s also that culture of eating out and socialising, which is great. The only good thing in it is microwave for porridge (or oatmeal like my Canadian friends call it). No fridge facilities, but frankly since there’s no culture for cold drinks I am not surprised now after my cold beer with ice cubes encounter…
Overall, I’m very pleased with the quality of student accommodation. At a cost of just under £5 per day, you can’t complain. Although technically, if I was living alone I would have to pay double that, but I’m living alone not by choice. Plus, my accommodation fees are covered by the scholarship , so life is sweet!
To compare it with what the locals have to endure, and this is based on the stories I was told, so I have no hard evidence, although I have no reason to doubt it either.
A standard dormitory room for Chinese Students includes 3 bunk beds in one room. That is 6 people crammed into a room smaller in size than my own. Each have a locker and then no desk nor storage. No wonder, library is full at all times. Now not only do they not get a cleaner, they need to buy their own mattress and bedding! Which is provided to us foreigners free of charge. To add to the horror, Chinese student dormitories don’t seem to have shower facilities within the building. For instance, girls go shower in a separate building which houses a supermarket on the ground floor and they can only shower there at certain hours a day. I believe they have curfew where they have to be in their rooms by 11pm. So it would be rude of me to complain, we have it easy!
They do look after us the best they can. It’s part of the PR machine and image creation I hear. Good for them, I have no problem with that!
Till next time.. xx