26 December 2011

No apartment

Yesterday, Christmas Day, at 5 a.m. we had an oral contract on the apartment.   I'm on the (US) East Coast for the holidays and was on my blackberry at that ungodly hour reading Christmas Eve correspondence from a Californian so I was on when our would-be landlord emailed wanting a Christmas Day commitment.  So I made one.  I made one despite that the day before I was unable to open the photos our Ayi emailed us after visiting the apartment herself.  An apartment!  We were able to open the new photos later on and confirmed that the landlord's photos were legit.  An apartment!  I told LiLi who was thrilled.  I told Grandma who was happy for us.  I told the whole family all about the apartment and its view over Chaoyang Park.

Later, after Christmas morning with family and a visit to my sister's way rural farm (pregnant Black Angus cows, goats, dogs and...donkeys), our would-be BJ landlord went sideways, wanting a higher rent and different terms.  So, standing in my sister's farmhouse looking out over a chilly field of trotting donkeys, running along the fenceline nipping at each other's necks and rough-housing like my  teenaged nephews, I texted the landlord and declined the apartment.

Oddly, nearly simultaneously, I received an email from the American/Ghanan family who moved their three kids over the summer recommending a different 'hood in BJ as accessible to both my job and the kids' school bus.

So...more of the meant to be?  or a lost opportunity?  Who knows.  We are back to square one on the apartment hunt.  Probably because I'm surrounded by my family, or maybe because I'm supported back home, I feel really okay about this.  Easy come, Easy Go?  The List That Refuses To Shrink?  Whatever.  We are okay and things will work out.

I'm off to go ride a donkey.  Its ears, huge and swiveling around completely backward looking like a cartoon of itself, a giant red bow on its behind, the incredible intelligence (they know voice commands!) and patience in its eyes, I feel lucky to be in its presence.  I ride horses but never before a donkey!   The apartment can wait for now.

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