Things have been different in Changsha than they were in Cili. I expected this, but it was strange nonetheless. I remember some of the horror stories that my friends told me about moving into their apartments last year, but I had walked into a new, clean, up-to-date house. So when I walked into a scummy apartment filled with dying plants, dusty clothes, broken water pipes, and rat poop, I was taken aback quite a bit. Besides that though, the apartment is rather nice. The head of the international department (the dept. that I work for) gave it to me, and since she had previously lived here, the apartment is furnished rather well. Most importantly, the apartment has the snazzy colored lights all over—something Chinese people love but I see no logical use for.
Celia, my new liaison, was freaked out about how I felt about the situation. She kept staring at me, sizing up what was going through my mind. Her concerned stare bothered me, but I had other things on my mind…like….how do I move into an apartment when someone is clearly still living in it?
We didn’t spend too much time in the apartment—we went to lunch and then to the police station. The year before, the police had come to us, which was nice and definitely a perk of living in a small country-side town. But this time, I sat in the entrance of the police station as they took an hour and a half to type my passport information onto some form (I kid you not). They kept making mistakes, and asked to see my passport three times after having previously returning it to me. Then, they even asked me for my flight boarding pass, which I had by chance since it had been stuck in my passport.
After the police station nonsense, we went to the supermarket to buy things to clean my apartment. The school paid for everything which was nice of them, and necessary, I guess, since they hadn’t prepared it for me. They even paid for my shampoo…
The best thing that I got for my apartment were the sheets. The better of the two is roses. Yes, I sleep in a bed of roses. It’s quite wonderful. Apparently, newlyweds use these sheets which makes me feel a bit like a poser, but what are you going to do?
In my first night in the new apartment, I fell asleep at about 10 PM. It was a long day with Celia.. Too long of a day.