Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Our Chinese Home Away From Home

I have had people asking for photos of our apartment here in Ordos Kangbashi. We do love our little home here. It's 2 bedroom 2 bath located on the 9th floor.  

This cabinet/counter is only 11" wide. The round spot on the floor behind the door is a magnetic door stop.

My view out the kitchen window as I cook and wash the dishes.

Standing at the entry looking into the main room towards the hallway. 

The door on the left is the kitchen and on the right is the laundry room.

We have a nice size coat closet 

The front entry shoe cabinet and my desk.

Standing in the dining room looking into the living room.

The alcove. I need some plants to put in there.

The view of the courtyard.

Ikea closet insert.

It's pretty cheaply made, but I love the organization.

The laundry room

Second bedroom and where I keep my clothes dryer. ;-)

Another view of the dining room into the kitchen and laundry rooms.

My favorite feature of the house. 

Shoe "Cabinets". This one comes with drawers, hooks and racks. I want one! 

Now you've seen our little home away from home. It's quite pleasant and peaceful. . . well, except for the constant, daily fireworks that people shoot off. We have a spare bed so don't be shy. Come visit us! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Driving to Beijing

As you may know, every 30 days Darryl and I have to leave the country to comply with our visas. We had a last minute meeting come up in Beijing for our first "Visa" trip in June (The Korea trip), so Eric (our translator and driver) drove us to Beijing. Here are some photos of the beautiful countryside, mountains, small farms and villages we passed. It was raining on the way to Beijing but sunny on the drive back. It was a 9 1/2 hour drive.

The road was nice though the speed limit was pretty low. I think between 80 km/h & 100 km/h (50 to 60 mph)

We had to cross the mountains..

...and pass quaint little villages...

and lots of small farms. Both on the valley floors ....

(These are caves in the mountains, I will address them late)

...and terraced up the sides of the mountains. 

We saw a lot of corn, beans, potatoes and other crops planted as we drove along in small patches everywhere we looked. 

No big tractors here, all the patches on the terraces are done by hand or with a roto-tiller.

I don't have a clue what this says.

We did spot several Buddhist temples on the ridges. Darryl took must have liked this one, her took 3  pictures of it.  

I think this says "Entering the least populated, clean air part of China". . . or not. 

Farmed all the way to the top.

It is sad to think that the government now has a program in place to move 100 million rural residents to the cities by 2020. This is the only life these people know and they will have to give it up because only the government owns land. The people can lease it for years and years, but if the gov't says move they have no choice. 

Remember the caves in the previous photo? They put a front on the caves and make houses out of them. Eric says many of them have no running water and limited electricity, but a warm place in the winter and cool in the summer. 

In the next photos you can see how small some of the terraced fields are. They literally covered most of the mountains on our drive. 

And more "cave houses".

Coming back into Ordos. It was such a lovely drive. 

Now that you've seen some of our countryside, I will post pictures of our apartment next time. Until then.... Have fun and use your chopsticks!