- Size: A bed, two small desks, and a bit of space to put things. Smaller than most (all?) Yale dorms, but just big enough for my needs without having to pay extra for space I won't use.
- Has a balcony (good for hanging clothes), which I only share with one other person.
- Faces south. This is going to be key during the winter... and I'll be out of here in early June, so I'm not worried about getting cooked alive.
- Mattress, sheet, blanket, small table, desk, and super-ghetto TV all included.
- Water filter/boiler and washing machine just down the hall.
- Rent: ~$160/mo, including water, electricity, and high-speed internet. (Holy guacamole, I can even connect to Yale's VPN and watch YouTube! I thought I'd never see the day in this country.)
- Fourth floor, reasonably clean, and 24-hour hot water for the shower. (I've been in this country long enough to appreciate this.)
- Chinese flatmates! Probably most of them students or young professionals. I won't be meeting them all very soon - as I mentioned, it's winter vacation and the new year is coming up, so a lot of folks have gone home.
- The landlord is middle-aged and abrasive but seems honest, and lives with his wife and granddaughter just a few units away.
- I've saved the best for last: location. Absolutely incomparable. A few walking distances for your reading pleasure: 5 minutes from the bus station, 8 minutes from the gates of Minzu and my friends there (mostly Minzu students, but also Yale's very own Joy), 2 minutes from the supermarket, 2-6 minutes from a ton of good restaurants, 3 minutes from a vegetable/fruit/nuts/etc market, 10 minutes from where I'll hopefully be working on the weekends, 15 minutes from a good friend's house, 15 minutes (well, two bus stops; it's cold outside!) from the largest library in China.
The place isn't without its flaws (notably: no kitchen, shared bathroom, thin walls), but all in all I'm feeling pretty victorious. Also, I expect that I'll sleep easier knowing that all of the forms are out of the way. I will have to renew my visa and my resident permit twice each over the next few months, but now that I have my foot in the door I don't expect to be rejected.
Now for a celebratory feast.