We got picked up from the airport at 2 in the morning by our new boss and after going to the wrong apartment complex first, found our way into our own 17th floor apartment. It was a short visit, however, because of the extreme cold, no heating, and lack of any bedclothes. So we took off for a hotel and were on our way to Jinzhou the next day.
For those of you that don't know, Jinzhou is where we both started teaching English and where we met (awww!). It's also where most of our stuff was hanging out since it was a bit impractical to take our giant suitcases and winter clothes with us to tromp around Southeast Asia.
So, we hung out with our good ol' buddies, had some delicious food, and enjoyed putting on jeans for the first time in months. It was nice to remember that I actually had legs. Shoes are a different story, since every pair I wear kill my feet, and it's too cold for the old Keanes.
After a week of bumming around and Ricky being very sick with an intense cold, it was time to head back to Beijing with all of our stuff. It was a nerve-wracking few hours, getting our 3 very big suitcases and 5 smaller bags (backpacks, duffels, etc.) onto the train when it only stopped at the platform for about a minute, and then back off when we got to Beijing. But we survived, and all of our things ended up at the apartment.
Speaking of, the apartment is nice, but incredibly small. We have all of the essentials--bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, living room--and even a nice enclosed balcony that we want to make a nice greenhouse-breakfast area. I took some pictures of the place, but the camera's not working on the work computer, so I'll get those to you later.
Also, we can see the Great Wall from the balcony, but today, Beijing being Beijing, the smog was too thick to take a picture of it.
But we're making it feel like home. The landlord brought in a couple of nice armchairs and a microwave, and I have the kitchen stocked with the necessities (pots, pans, spatula), but none of the fun stuff (blender, oven). The bed is dressed, our clothes are hung up, and we even bought a carpet to cover the terrible, lumpy linoleum floor, and curtains are being made as we speak.
It's starting to feel like home. All we need now is a TV. And a cat.