Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Apartment hunting, job searching and Inner Mongolia

The song Time's a Wastin' plays in my head a lot these days...the reason being pretty clear. Between looking for our next apartment and trying to find a job, I have been pretty busy. I have postings on the local expat site asking about different areas of Beijing and specific buildings and I also have job postings explaining my qualifications for potential employers. All of my postings and subsequent emails are very detailed. Yet what I have come to realize is that if people took the time to read my postings and emails from start to finish I would have a lot more free time. I have a very specific wish list for my next apartment because after we move (for the second time in 3 months) I would prefer not to move again until we leave Beijing. This is my list of CRAZY demands:
  • I want an apartment that is not 2 years old and already falling apart. The reason that this is an important point is that unskilled migrant workers from small villages in China build most of the highrises in Beijing. They also use plaster instead of drywall, so the ceilings and walls literally start to fall apart.
  • I want an oven. I didn't think I would really miss having an oven, but know that I don't have one I realize how nice they are.
  • I want a bathtub. Life is tough sometimes and all I want is to take a bath! Plus the pollution and the drought make my skin itch.
  • I either want an empty apartment for cheap so that I can furnish it to my standards or I want an apartments with an actual SOFA! Futons are very popular here, and while they might make a great crash bed in college, they are neither comfortable or stylish.
Everything on top of that is a bonus. I really don't think I'm asking too much, yet 80% of the apartments I see either have 1 thing on that list, or everything I said I didn't want! The walls are crumbling, the floor is pealing up, and the FUTON has a pattern on it you shouldn't find outside of your grandmothers knitting collection. It can make you crazy.

Then there is the job search. I am all about internships, but that term can also mean short term slave. Not that this would outweigh the benefits if you got hired afterward, but most internships here are three months of work with no training and then onto the next intern. I have already been offered a few positions in Beijing, but have yet to accept one. Here is why... One was for a position that would be part time, about 25 hours a week, and the pay is about 100 a month. If it were in my dream field I might take it, but as it is, I am not thrilled about the idea of working for free for an unknown amount of time. Then there is a Sales and Marketing Job that I was really excited about before the interview. The company was great and has locations all over the world. The man who interviewed me, who would be my future boss, was easy to talk to and seemed like a good guy...sounds great huh? Except he wants me to move to INNER MONGOLIA for a minimum of 2 years. Nowhere in the job description was that tidbit listed. I have been married for just over 6 months and he wants me to move away from my husband... “Don't worry”, he said, “It's hard for the first 6 months to a year, but you get to see him every other weekend”. That was apparently supposed to make it all better.

So now hopefully you can understand my frustration. Regardless, I had a fantastic Valentines Day yesterday with my wonderful husband and my Chinese class ended today! So I am blissfully happy with more time to waste. Pray for my sanity to stick with me!


  1. I have loved reading your blog posts! The insane things we won't do for the men we love! I hope you are able to find a job that doesn't mean moving to Inner Mongolia.

  2. Hey Barbara, glad you like it. It has been a crazy adventure, but at least its entertaining!

  3. Just found your blog. How exciting to be living in Beijing!