August 27: After the 1-year mark

I’ve officially been in China for over a year!

Here’s what’s new in my life:


I’m moved into my new apartment, and so far, I really like it! I’m about a 15-minute bike ride or 20-minute bus ride to work. I’m also not terribly far out of the center of the city, so I can go basically anywhere! The location (besides being close to work) isn’t perfect and the waimai (delivery food) is nowhere near as good. So far, I have seen exactly 1 other foreigner near my new apartment. It’s definitely a change, but I’m enjoying exploring my new area. Most of the people around here don’t speak any English and there aren’t exactly foreigner-friendly places nearby. I’ve been speaking a lot more Chinese recently and trying to figure out new words and ways to communicate with people.

It’s a small studio apartment, but it’s cute and comfortable for one person. I have one room with a bed, two large closets, a couch, a desk, TV, fridge, and a ‘kitchen.’ I also have a small bathroom with a washing machine. I mostly hung out in my bedroom in my last apartment since there were so many people living there, so even though my new apartment is smaller, it almost feels bigger since it’s all 100% mine. The amount of drama in my life has also drastically decreased since moving out and not living with 5 other people.

Other perks of my new apartment: I have an ayi (a cleaning lady) that comes once a month and cleans my whole apartment for me. I also have wifi that was pre-installed (which doesn’t seem like much, but it is more difficult than you would imagine getting wifi as a foreigner here). The building managers are nice and they have been really helpful. Everyone else who lives here is so surprised to see a foreigner living here, so they always try to talk to me. I’m even allowed to have a cat here!


My work permit expired on the 23rd, so I legally cannot work right now. I still have a residence permit, so I’m living legally and I can be here without worrying. My company is working on submitting applications for a new work permit, which should hopefully be done within 3 weeks. While that’s happening, I can’t work at all. I actually can’t even go into my school. So far, it’s been 4 days of not working, and I’m really bored. I’ve been watching Netflix, running, cleaning, doing homework, and mostly sitting around. It’s also about 36C outside every day and miserable. All of my friends are busy working most days, so my life has been pretty boring recently. I’m hoping to do some exciting things in the next few days, including shopping trips to get things for my new apartment! Hopefully, by the third week of September, I’ll be back at work.


Here are some long-awaited photos of my new apartment:

(Once I get everything, I’ll post more pictures with my stuff in it haha)

My desk area
The metal counter is my ‘kitchen.’ It has an electric stove, a kettle, and a rice cooker. That’s pretty standard for China. Ovens are really uncommon here, as well as built-in kitchens.
My bed & a closet
A full view of the apartment from the entryway. It looks a lot smaller in pictures than it feels. 
Monty loves the couch

That’s all for now!


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