Sunday, September 10, 2006

Outside the Cocoon

As requested, here are some photos of my balcony and the outside of buildings. These are not pictures of the outside of my building, but the outside of buildings you can see from my window. They are very similar in appearance to my building. I took these a couple days ago when it was raining and I had to stay in. What? An Oregonian refusing to go out in the rain? Well, brother, when you have to go everywhere on foot you're a whole lot less apt to go out in the rain if you don't have to. Wet clothes take a long time to dry when this is your only dryer...

Chinese Building 4

These are cables on the roof over my balcony. They are for drying clothes. Electric clothes dryers are unheard of here since both appliances and electricity are expensive. In this next picture you can see the blue stick I use to hang the clothes on hangers from the wires. The clothes lines are too high up to reach...that way you can stand out on the balcony and not have to dodge wet clothes. Clothes hanging t odry on a balcony or outside a window is a very common sight here in China.

Chinese Building 3

Not a fabulous picture, but it's hard to take a good one in a small space. Here's the view outside my living room window. Yes, there are bars on it. But remember, I'm on the fifth floor. I am not sure why these bars are there, but I think they are more to prevent people from falling out than for keeping people from getting in.

Chinese Building 6

Here's the same view from the kitchen bay window (the one with the fans from my last post) which has no bars. You can see the hanging laundry here. I know at least some of the Chinese faculty is housed in this building.

Chinese Building 7
Here's the same building again from the other living room window. It looks like several buildings, but it's all one. My building is similarly staggered like stairsteps. Each front has it's own door, so in getting directions to my (and most Chinese) apartment, it is essential to get the door number as well as the apartment number. My building has several apartments with the same number as mine, but mine is the only one behind door four. At the bottom of this picture the long pipes you see running suspended in the air are for hot water...not for use in the shower, but for the radiators that heat the campus in winter.

Chinese Building 2

"Yes, yes, Christense, it's all very well and good with the buildings, but how about some people?" Well, I'm working on it. This is reflective of my experience here, first I have to acclimate myself to my surroundings before I can begin building relationships with people. Soon!


Amanda Peterson said...

Different world in many ways. I'll look forward to meeting the peopl you meet through your pictures. It's good to see what you see. Don't fall out of your unbarred windows.

kristi said...

Thanks for the pics. It takes me back. Your apt. looks very similar to the one I had. Keeing you in my Thoughts

Lanny said...

Glad you're acculturating in a thought out way! That last comment about people coming soon makes great sense. You're helping us see what you see and anticipate what you're hoping for, too. Wish I could send you a cheeseburger or your favorite American food, but hope you're not missing that too much just yet. Blessings, Sister!

Steve Maxwell said...

Stense, Thanks a lot. The pictures are awesome. And I totally understand about the relationship stuff, one step at a time. You seem to be doing well, but please let us know if there is anything you need. Take care and next pictures of the city streets, cars, busses, bicycles, and such. :-) Miss you Stense. Be Good!

slightlyevil said...

Wow Sandy just gave me the tour very cool!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Great pictures. I love seeing where you live and your surroundings. I look forward to more. I love(lol) your clothes dryer.
Sue Bell