Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,
So here I am. Another new apartment. This time, a totally new environment.
For almost all of my nearing twelve years of living and teaching in China I have chosen small (and tiny) farming environments usually set in rather mountainous regions. The people (most) live day to day and wealth is not usually shown or gained by most of the people who reside there. Huai’An city (my last city), for me was like moving to Beijing due to its size in comparison to where I had lived prior.
I must say, moving to Ningbo has really freaked me out. Not as in Oh My God! What have I done! Freak out.
Before I left Huai’An I downsized my life once again from around 70 liters (1x 45 liter back pack & 1x 25 liter back pack which housed all of my worldly belongings) and now I’m down to ONE 35 liter back pack which house my now almost totally non-existent worldly belongings. Oh and I also gave away my bike so it’s more like, Oh My God! If I scratch any car around me I’ll be working for free for the next twenty years, or forty.
So, what’s it like where I live? I’m glad you asked.
To be honest, due o all of the rivers and canals in Ningbo, I feel like I’m living on an island because of all of the bridges that connect where I am to Ningbo proper. I live in a small apartment (perfect for me and my huge amount of belongings) on the 16th floor of a 23 floor building (one of six buildings that make up the complex). Believe me, I tred very carefully through the parking areas that surround each building on my way to and from the front gate.
They are filled with Porches and BMW and 'those’ brands etc.
My area (across the bridges) is one of those completely new areas where they basically planned the entire thing, flattened the area and brought in a thousand companies and basically built the entire thing from ground up all at the same time. Everything is new and ready to be filled and believe me, it won’t take long at all. Each day on my way to and from my school and then while walking around at nights I see removal trucks.
Oh there is also an old temple that I will get to watch being renovated just outside the gate of my apartment complex…now that is so perfectly me!
My school is a five minute walk away and in between there are cheap dumpling joints, rice eateries and noodle bars which is absolutely perfect for me being someone who hasn’t cooked for nearing twelve years! No one likes my cooking, honestly it’s not just me that dislikes it. A few years ago JiangNi (ex girlfriend) asked me to cook her dinner,
She tasted it and begged me to take her out to eat.
For anything such as new clothes and ‘western’ food my apartment complex is about one minutes walk from WANDA Plaza which has basically anything that is needed by all of the rich people that live around me. In fact you could live in any of the WANDA Plaza’s that can now be found in the hearts of many of China’s huge cities. WANDA Plaza’s are owned by the WANDA Group which is owned by China’s richest man who happens to have a total dislike for anything DISNEY! So he is now going about building ‘WANDA Worlds’ which can now be found just outside of several of the main cities here in China.
There are many more that have been planned and will be popping up very soon.
What else? We have free bike hire all around Ningbo so it is easy for me to grab a bike and ride into the heart of the city which is about a twenty minute ride and two hour walk. I mainly walk it and snack along the way so by the time I’m in the city I’m pretty much full. On the times I don’t snack I head down to the Bund Area (more on that in a later blog) where I can grab a few imported beers, eat real chicken salads or a huge real burger.
The burger part has only happened once because I felt like I had eaten an entire cow for several days after.
After getting the internet on (with WiFi) I ended up pressing reset on my WiFi box so I couldn’t use WiFi at home. My god, it takes up all of your free time. With around three thousand Ebooks to read, a heap of movies to watch and two or so hours a night walking to do who has time for Facebook, Wechat or random browsing on their own time.
You do that at lunch time at work, or in between classes.
<u>So here’s a bit on Wondering Wanda Plaza</u>
What can I say, Huai’An city had one and I went in about three times but after travelling the east coast this summer break and spending a heap of time with Ting Ting in Shanghai I kind of got into wandering around huge shopping complexes. Why? Monsoon season happens here on the east coast during summer and when it storms it storms and then it rains very hard for a long time.
As Plaza’s go, WANDA’s have everything you need.
A cinema complete with IMAX, a million and sixty four thousand little girly stores, a couple of men’s stores (I guess we don’t shop much), a trillion six hundred thousand and one women’s stores (I guess they still shop a lot more than us) and of course the floor that is most important to me, the Food Floor where can be found Chinese, Japanese, Brazilian BBQ, Korean, Indian and a Neolithic BBQ joint where I guess you can eat Neanderthals or Dino Steaks.
There are also a heap of my favourites that can be found scattered around on each floor like the fresh juice bars, the little sushi snack eateries and just snacky snack snack joints. Of course the usual can be found on the ground floor such as KFC, Mc D’s, Pizza ‘plastic cheese’ Hut and Starbucks.
Beers N Noodles toya…..shane PS: I’m JUUUST about to start on my Summer Break ‘East Coast’ Adventure blogs. ___________________________________________________________
The soundtrack to this entry was by the Smashing Pumpkins The album was ‘Siamese Dreams’ ____________________________________________________________