I’m sure every home in the world has its own quirks, but in our experience, apartments in China are extra-special in that department. As I pack up this home before our move, I’m reminded of the little bits of craziness that will probably make me smile with fondness…once we’re gone.

1. The screen door of death

It takes some pretty mad skillz to get the balcony screen door to open and close at all. Usually, it’s easier to take it off its track, move it to the desired position, and replace it. Even when stationary, it has a tendency to fall on unsuspecting victims who are sitting beneath it. Gonna miss the excitement of never knowing who will get thumped next.

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2. Bold light fixtures

Honestly, these are pretty tame compared to what we’ve seen in other homes, restaurants and shops, but still. Here’s the sconces above our bed.


They glow BLUE, in case that subtle fact escaped you.

In the dining room, we have primary colors…


…and we nearly have secondary colors in one of the bedrooms.


3. All the colors

The light fixtures are bright and colorful enough, but there’s other random touches of uncoordinated color around the house. Such as these steps into the sunken living room that don’t really match anything else…


…the red mirror in the blue bathroom…


…the bright blue mirror and sink in the seafoam green (80s flashback!) bathroom.


4. All the feels

I will probably never again live in a place that has greeting card sentiments all over the kitchen and bathroom.

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So sweet.

5. This nest of electrical wires

I don’t even know what to think when I see this every time I walk out my front door. This is the backside of a cable/electrical panel in our dining room, and it obviously doesn’t really connect to anything. I’m just glad no one has been electrocuted yet. I would laugh, except we figured out that this was one of the entry points for the Great Ant Invasion.


6. Jerry-rigged shower curtain

This is the most lihai of all the quirks. The shower curtain rod looks improvised, and cannot stay attached to wall without help. Therefore, the brackets are stuffed with toilet paper to keep the rod from falling down. That is still not enough to support the weight of the shower curtain rod, so we have a length of PVC pipe bracing it as well, but the pipe has started to bow. All of that jerry/jury-rigging is still not enough to make it stable, so there’s the constant danger of this thing collapsing onto you while you shower if you happen to bump the shower curtain.

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7. These curtains

Anyone who’s visited us knows how I feel about these curtains.

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I don’t think you can get the full effect from the photos. You need to be facing the wall of yellow-green awesomeness in the living room and then go stand in front of its twin in the bedroom. They look even more stunning at night when they’re illuminated by fluorescent lights.

Here’s some close-ups. There’s pagodas and fishermen and boats and dragons, and it’s all been accented with glittering gold thread (you can’t really see the glitter in the pictures, but, yes, it is definitely there.)

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The messages say something like “splendid future” and the equivalent of “smooth sailing.” I guess we need those wishes of safe travel to get past #1, 5 and 6 without injury every day.

Yup, I’m pretty eager for all of these to be fond memories instead of current reality. Then I can look back and laugh.

But I guess I won’t laugh for long, because our next place has quirks of its own–some we already know of, some we’re sure to discover after moving in. 

Sneak peek: both bathrooms are YELLOW.


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