Beijing is a huge city.
It is really incomprehensible how large the city is compared to any other city I’ve been lived in.
There are 6 ring roads and the furthest one out is about located at a point that it takes about 220 kms to drive around the city.
The 6th ring road is about 10 kms from the center of the city.
There are about 25,000,000 people here.
Beijing is massive.
We were living right inside the 4th ring road and about a 30 minute cab ride from my work.
It became a daily ordeal to find a cab, take the ride through traffic, and then get to work or home.
I’ve had long commutes before, especially living in El Cerrito and commuting to San Francisco (sometimes up to 1.5 hours each way) but it seemed much longer here.
It was also just tough being so far away from our friends and people we truly care about who live near Sanlitun.
All our favorite restaurants, bars, and my work are all downtown so it just didn’t make sense to live where we were anymore.
The only negative is we won’t be as close to our wonderful roommate, Gulzar, and our dear friend Federica.
But that is the expatriate life.
And starting today, Jill and I have moved into our new apartment near where I work.
I can now get up in the morning and walk to work in a few minutes.
It is wonderful!
The move, by the way, went incredibly well.
My buddy, Justin, set us up with a moving company that he knows and trusts.
They ended up showing up about 1.5 hours late, but other than that, they were incredible.
Three guys, working their butts off in 100 degree heat, and moving our stuff with almost no complaining or whining.
These guys WORK.
They took our armoire, our queen sized mattress, our washing machine and a bunch of other stuff and just kept going without a rest.
We all helped out a bit but it was mostly them.
How much did this all cost to move our apartment, with three workers, about 5 miles and then up 5 flights of stairs since our new place doesn’t have an elevator?
Well, we had set the price at 450RMB.
Jill and I then bought them 2 bottles of water each (we offered beer but they told us not when they are working). This sounds obvious but there are times when we’ve gotten in a cab and you can smell alcohol on the driver’s breath. Not these guys. True professionals. We also bought them Popsicles.
That cost us about 20RMB.
We gave them a 50RMB tip, which no one tips here so they were very happy with that and we felt they definitely deserved it.
Total price: 520RMB
Total price in USD: 85 bucks.
Honestly, our new place is fantastic and we have our internet and wifi all set up already.
We later went for a walk by the canal behind our apartment and celebrated.
We also have to give a HUGE thank you to our dear friend, Rachel. She is a native Beijinger and moving to Hong Kong in the next few weeks for work. She has helped us out so much and we love her dearly. THANK YOU, RACHEL!
Life is good.