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There's no place like home. And here's my home, be it oh so humble!

I live in a large apartment complex composed of over 50 concrete apartment blocks, each 5 stories high. I live in building 51 on the 4th floor. The complex includes a primary school, two large courtyards with playground/exercise equipment and basketball hoops, public bathroom, a row of shops, police station and a coal-burning boiler to provide heat in the winter. Apartment complexes are common, but they are not always this big. My complex is called "An Ju Xiao Qu" and all the taxi drivers know it.

Entrance

Entrance to the complex

Apartment Blocks

Most of the apartment blocks look like this.

Poster

This board shows photos of complex residents enjoying the facilities.

Apartment Blocks

Some are pink, some are tan and some are blue.

Shops

Shops include: Police, bakery, convenience store, clinic, etc.

Courtyard

Courtyard with exercise equipment. At night, people gather here to line dance to very loud music.

Basketball

This is where the kids play basketball. The nets have been missing for quite a long time.

Clothesline

It's multi-use, so whatever you want, goes. On sunny days, everyone's got their drawers & bedsheets out to dry!

Bathroom

Public bathroom. The less said the better. :{

Shady Lane

Some streets are lined with trees.

School

Primary school or castle? There's always lots of singing & carrying-on coming from here.

My Lane

I live down this lane.

Water Pump

Right past the water pump, which is fully functional and often in use by some old lady washing her clothes.

My Building

This is the building.

Typical Door

This is my neighbor's door with good luck decorations for the new year.

Living Room

Here's the living room. I used to have some posters up, but I took them down. We are lucky to have tile floor, most apartments have only concrete.

Dining Room

Our dining room - we don't use this room much!

Kitchen

One view of the kitchen. It's not exactly gourmet!

Kitchen 2

And another view. We make do with that little hot plate in the corner.

Kids

Here are the neighborhood kids who delight in telling me, "Hello!"

Our apartment is provided by the company we work for. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen and a laundry room. This is a fairly typical apartment in Linyi. Rent is somewhere in the neighborhood of $64 per month. (But newer furnished apartments in downtown Linyi can go as high as $350-400 per month.) The company also pays our utilities, and per month water & electricity are probably less than $20. Our apartment has central heating provided through radiators. We also have air conditioning units in the bedrooms for cooling and additional heating. We have electric hot water heaters in the bathrooms, but not in the kitchen. Many apartments in this complex have no hot water at all. Those that don't walk down the road to the public bathhouse for a hot shower.

Doesn't your house instantly seem nicer!?

Got a question about life in China? Please leave a comment!