Our Apartment in Suzhou SIP (video/photos)

As I mentioned a couple weeks back, we’re moving to a new apartment at the end of the month.

As it is fully furnished (I’ve yet to rent an apartment here that isn’t – though some call into question the definition of “fully”), yesterday we had to head over to the new place and meet with the landlady and realtor to make an itemized list of all the goodies the apartment comes with.

SIP ApartmentWe had been somewhat nonchalant about getting it done, but the realtor impressed upon us the importance, as they’ve had landlords walk out with major appliances before the tenant moves in, and then deny they were ever in the agreement.

Things didn’t start off great, as on our arrival the first order of business was the issue of the extended cable (or satellite, I’m still not clear which it is) TV the owner of the apartment had already pre-paid for.

Maggie watches the odd show on Chinese TV, but mostly we get our fill from TV-on-DVD and so don’t have much need for even the basic cable package. As such, when the landlady informed us we were going to be required to pay an additional 210 RMB/mo., we were a bit annoyed.

SIP ApartmentShe explained that we get HK MTV, CINEMAX, and some other all-caps names I recognized (CNN, BBC, etc.) and it was well worth the money. We explained we didn’t care, and if it was a payment we must make, it should have been outlined in the contract or at least discussed before we agreed to take the apartment.

That seemed to give her enough to go back to the owner with and say “hey, I tried”, as she quickly conceded and said it was no big deal.

Looks like we’ve got free cable.

SIP ApartmentOther than that, it was mostly just a lot of walking around and turning things on. I’ve noticed there’s a bit of an obsession with kicking the tires in this country. Not to say it’s not a completely practical thing to do, but it just seems to be taken to the extreme. Supermarkets have official testing stations where you can make sure your tea kettle or DVD player turns on. It’s always just left me wondering how useless a shop’s return policy is.

And in the case of our apartment, instead of putting my mind at ease by showing me everything works, it just made me wonder if this was going to be the grounds by which my landlord would eventually put on us that we should be the ones buying the new A/C unit: “Hey, it worked when you moved in.”

Getting a bit bored of following Maggie around and watching her turn on taps – and listing to the landlady explain to us the fantastic quality of the fixtures, I made a little video tour of our place.

We’ve not started packing yet, but have to admit, we’re both pretty geared to move. Though I’m sure the feeling of the place will change after we’ve lived in the neighbourhood a while, walking around the place now feels like we’re on vacation at some Floridian condo resort.

We’re shooting to have a house-warming BBQ shortly after moving in, so any readers in Suzhou (or better yet, in the neighbourhood), you’re welcome to swing by.

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