Thanks to some diligent work and hard negotiating by Wendy, our delightful real estate agent who is a dead ringer for Doonesbury’s Honey, we have a place to live, cat included.
It’s on the third floor, which means that we’ll look out into the trees and a nearby playground, rather than out over the smoggy air from the temporary apartment on the 25th floor of Building 14 in the complex. (A side note: the floor is actually the 21st floor, because the Chinese don’t like to name floors using the number “four,” which sounds like the word for “death” in Chinese. So, the elevator goes: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25. The number 13 is also left out for more universal unlucky reasons.)
There are a few tricky parts beside the rent, which is more than we wanted to pay. One, there are no beds. We need to go out and buy beds. Oh, and there’s no sofa either. What’s ironic is that the landlady is happily offering her dining room set, her coffee table, and all sorts of things that we already brought. Get ready for a post about the Beijing Ikea, which is one of the wonders of modern China, I’m told.
But no matter. By mid-December or so, at just about the time that I’ll be getting set to head back to the States for a short visit, we’ll be moving into a sweet little place, close enough to the ground that Smudge should be entertained by the activity outside and attractive enough that I knew instantly this was our new home the minute I walked in the door. Must have been the feng shui.