Monday, June 27, 2005

Comments, Links

Soon I'm going to be looking for new housing for the next year. (Yes, I'm staying in Shanghai. Was that ever in doubt?) I hope writing about it can help motivate me to action. I've got two goals for this project.

  1. Pay less rent.

  2. Speak more Chinese.

Location within the city is not that important: as long as I'm relatively central and near a bus stop or subway line, my handle on public transport will be good enough to get me anywhere. Facilities are also not that important to me: I'm not looking to host any big parties or get hitched in the near future, so as long as I have a roof over my head I'll be fine.

Minor factors are: good, cheap places to eat, and dryness (I've got a lot of books). Electricity is sorta important. A private bathroom is not. Proximity to Hongkou would be nice. Plants would be cool.

Based on the major goals, I'm basically looking at two options:

  • Move into older housing. John just posted about the old neighborhood in trendy Zhongshan Park that is being torn down, and how it's a good thing. I found my own views echoed more in the comment posted by trevelyan, which talks about buy[ing] and fix[ing]-up an urban hutong for a very reasonable price. I've had my eye on a couple of traditional Shanghai-style 里弄 alley neighborhoods. I'd especially like to live along the Suzhou Creek. If I take this course of action, I would have to start by looking for real estate offices around these neighborhoods, or asking local shopkeepers how to rent a room.

  • Living with Chinese. The point being, simply, to speak more Chinese. I would be afraid of English-crazy housemates, but the house-hunting process could control for that. I could either ask around the office, or look through online resources for people seeking housemates. Renting is already incredibly cheap, and sharing a house just makes renting even cheaper.

I'd be grateful for suggestions as far as good neighborhoods with the characteristics I described above, and for websites (in English or Chinese) where one can find people looking for housemates. Of course, the house-hunting process will have to wait until I get back from Hangzhou, but I hope to have some time-off then to put any plans into action.

2 Comments:

At Jun 28, 2005, 12:27:00 AM, Blogger John said:

"So why doesn’t anyone do it? As long as the spectre of government sanctioned destruction is looming over the residents, there is no one with the power or incentive to renovate or modernize these buildings."

 
At Jun 28, 2005, 8:07:00 PM, Blogger Micah said:

My guanxi reaches to the highest levels.




Kidding. I'm just an optimist.

 

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