It was extremely difficult for me to find an apartment in Shanghai. This is because all the apartments that were cheap and in good locations had already been snapped up by the students who were arriving for school in September. Hold on. I'm a student arriving for school in September.
But I am also a Trinidadian and because of my laidback lastminuteness (today is the second day of school and I just purchased notebooks and pens) I almost ended up having to sleep on the floor of a Chinese subway station. Okay, I exaggerate. Something was bound to work out. But when I hear about my classmates booking rooms, sight unseen in apartments, months ahead I feel that clearly, I was not prepared for this. One of my classmates has actually been in Shanghai for 3 months already, learning Mandarin (a fabulous idea I thought).
I think it is my experiences in the US and Trinidad that have rendered me so suspicious about renting apartments online. Also the fact that I had never been to Shanghai and didn't know the areas. What if I picked a location 3 hours away from school. What if the very cute apartment I saw pictures of was situated above a very active drug den??? I NEED to see where I'm gonna be living even if it is for only 3 months.
I ended up getting a room in quite a nice, large 3 bedroom apartment with two of my classmates in a great location. Lots of expats live in the same building and at least one of the other girls in our programme as well. The only concern I have is that we have two more cities to go to. Is the apartment drama going to rear it's ugly head in Florence and Paris as well?
Oh...and just in case you didn't believe me: