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Published: August 15th 2008
I was thinking about all sorts of things that you "back home" might find interesting, and I realised that there are all sorts of things about apartments here that are so different, so here goes!
Well, the kitchen is always small, there is no oven, only a 2 ring (if you are lucky 3 rings) hob thing, and always an extractor hood. There are rarely any drawers (not sure where we are supposed to put cutlery, I mean chopsticks! There are good sized fridges (for thos non-americans among us!) and then a mad thing called a 'Steriliser'. No, not for baby equipment, but for drying your dishes. At first, you think it's a dishwasher, but then realise it's because the dishes don't dry in the humidity, and keeps the germs away! In place of an oven, you might be lucky enough to have a microwave. We have a separate tap which is for filtered water, which is good, so we don't have to buy bottled all the time.
We have a good sized living room with an L-shaped sofa and a dining area off it and a balcony off that. The washing machine is always on one of the 2 balconies, and the smaller balcony is generally off the kitchen, to keep cleaning stuff on. The bedrooms have some kind of wardrobe/storage thing and usually large windows and window sills, good for keeping toys on. There is air con in all bedrooms and a main one in the living room.
There are mostly 2 bathrooms with 3 bedrooms, which is good for 4 of us going to the loo!! There are showers in both bathrooms but not always a bath. Sadly we don't have a bath, but Sophie and William have got quite used to showers now and it is much better in this hot weather, and will probably be good in the cold weather too!
There is pretty much always a cupboard just inside the door for shoes and it is generally accepted that you take your shoes off as you enter, then either go bare feet of wear slippers/flip flops around the house. The kids are getting quite used to this, it is a must as your shoes get so dirty walking around all the time.
Our landlord has agreed to us having a 2nd TV in our bedroom, in case we have the need for a kids film vs. sport moment (I am sure this will arise!). The internet is already set up, so we are away as soon as we move in, then we will try and sort the Skype thing out, so anyone who has it, let us know your id thingies ( I think that's what happens) and we can try and call soon!
By the way, now we have 3 good sized bedrooms, there is definitely room for guests...William has a single bed with a pull out bed underneath which Sophie could use, thereby surrendering her lovely double bed for any of you who would like to come and see the Orient! Any offers???!!!!!!
One last thing, we found out it is the Moon Festival at the moment where people give each other Moon Cakes. Ian and I tried them today but they were a bit stodgy, but an interesting custom. They are almost pastry like, filled with different things, we tried coconut ones which were also very sweet. We seem to have random holidays, like a week off at the end of September and a couple of days here and there.
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