Our mailing address sounds pretty fancy:
EIE, School of Continuing Education
Liaoning Normal University,
850 Huanghe Road,
Dalian, Liaoning, China 116029
but that’s just where we work. Where do we actually live?
We were given a sheet of paper with our apartment address written in both Chinese and English that we could show to a taxi driver if needed. It says that our apartment address is: the little street of Liaoning Normal University, Lan Xiu Street, Huanghe Road, Shahekou District, The Red Building!
We went for lunch with one of our fellow teachers today. When he asked where we live, we described our location just off the edge of the university campus. “Oh, is yours the building where it looks like you’re entering a crack house?” he asked. Yes, I think that would be us!
We enter through a broken door and climb the narrow cement staircase to our apartment on the top floor. Many of the landings between floors are piled high with stuff. I’m not sure if it’s things that people have discarded or if the landings are just being used as extra storage space. I must admit that as we hauled our suitcases up the 67 stairs to the fifth floor the night we arrived here, I really wondered what we’d find at the top. In comparison to the stairwell, our apartment really isn’t bad at all but I’ll save that for another post.
In the meantime, let me tell you what’s going on right now. At the moment, it literally sounds like we’re living in the middle of a war zone. Today is the final day of the Chinese New Year holiday. There have been fireworks going off all around us ever since we arrived but we’re assuming that that must be coming to an end tonight because now they’re literally exploding non stop all over the neighbourhood! This started well before dark. I knew that fireworks were a big deal in China but I never imagined anything like this! I hope it comes to an end before we go to bed tonight or there won’t be any sleeping happening. I’m not holding my breath though. The first ones started going off at 6 o’clock this morning just as the sun began to come up. There are also bonfires burning on several street corners below us tonight.
I wonder how many more surprises this strange place we’ve chosen to live has in store for us?