I’m finally somewhat settled into my new apartment here in Tianjin. (Well, except that the washing machine was broken and the landlord refused to pay for it for the longest time because he thought I had broken it when I touched one of the buttons and he was going to charge 700 RMB to fix it, until a Chinese friend, Grace, explained to him that it was already broken. We should be getting a new second-hand one soon.) (UPDATE: The new second-hand washer arrived today… but without any delivery/mover guys. Guess who had to help carry a washing machine up four flights of stairs!? You guessed it, me. At least my clothes will be clean now.)

And some advice for finding and moving into an apartment in China: don’t do it. I’m only half kidding: just like you would in America, be sure to test every appliance, every light switch, every power outlet, and every faucet. Look behind dressers and under beds. Scour the place and make a list of things that the landlord needs to fix and clean before you’ll agree to rent it. Also, make sure things are well-communicated between the two of you. I had to sign a contract that was entirely in Chinese characters. Hopefully I didn’t get any more than I bargained for. I shouldn’t need to worry about where I’ll be living for another ten months or so, ensha’allah.

Anyways, after I had moved in and started cleaning things and arranging things how I wanted them, I made some strange discoveries. Here’s an epic list of those discoveries in order of least to most random, with pictures. Enjoy.

Tied for #10 – A Dartboard

The dartboard isn’t so random, I guess, but it begs the question what’s wrong with it? I have no clue. I’ll definitely be hanging this somewhere.

#10 - Dartboard

Tied for #10 – Shuttlecocks & Ping Pongs

Badminton and table tennis are two of the biggest sports here so these aren’t so random, either. They might even come in handy someday!

#10 - Shuttlecocks & Ping Pongs

#9 – Decks of Playing Cards

But not just any playing cards, these are “Lao Qiang”(?) and 100 dollar bill playing cards. These are keepers. Wanna come over and suit up sometime? Guys night on the 4th floor.

#9 - Decks of Playing Cards

#8 – The Ugliest Wall-Hanging Puzzle. Ever.

This is currently hanging in the “living room”… but not for long. Why so ugly? As G.O.B. would say, “Come on!”

#8 - The Ugliest Wall-Hanging Puzzle Ever

#7 – Chinese Karaoke VCDs

Well, this is China and they do love their karaoke here… but what use will I have for these? By the way, I went to KTV for the first time since being back. I loved it! Remind me to tell you about it later.

#7 - Chinese Karaoke VCDs

#6 – Precious Moments Calendar

This was hanging in my bedroom. (And I stress “was.”) But the random thing is it’s from 2003! Is that the last time someone’s lived here? Probably. Trash.

#6 - Precious Moments Calendar

#5 – A Killer Shell Collection

A bag full of shells was underneath my bed. Great. I think I’ll use these for decorating. Or throw them off my balcony.

#5 - A Killer Shell Collection

#4 – A Huge Kite

I guess a kite by itself isn’t so random, but a kite the size of an entire room!? I was going to try and fly it but then the weather changed. I’ll have to wait till spring to take this baby for a test drive. Where will I store it, though?

#4 - A Huge Kite

#3 – Three Bottles of Wine

Yay for me! Free wine is always nice. But why would someone leave it behind? Does it taste bad? Wine gets better with time, right? It’s probably been here for years.

#3 - Three Bottles of Wine

#2 – A Bunch of Tiny Toy Figures

This is one of my favorites, actually, because the first thing I imagined doing with them is some kind of stop-motion short-film. I’ll keep you posted.

#2 - A Bunch of Tiny Toy Figures

#1 – Television Computer System

This atari-like thing was found in my dresser. First of all, what the crap is this!? Secondly, does it work!? And third, why leave this behind? EBay, here I come.

#1 - Television Computer System