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Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Rent Looks Like

It's time again to pay the rent. It's been three months since I last made a rent payment. Instead of paying rent monthly, I pay three-months at a time, which is the normal protocal here in Shanghai. I guess collecting every three months is just easier for the landlord - she doesn't have to come around as often.

Even though Shanghai is the financial capital of China, most people still conduct their business in cash. My rent is 2900 RMB (about US $414) a month, which I gather is pretty expensive, at least that's what my students keep telling me. It certainly felt like a lot of money when I took 9000 RMB (about US $1285) out of the bank today. All that cash burned a hole in my pocket as I briskly made the short walk home with it.

The last time I paid rent, one of the teachers from my school was there to help translate between Chinese & English. This time I was able to handle the transaction easily by myself. I'm getting better at speaking Chinese, which helps, but I'm also getting better at understanding how things work in Shanghai, which makes day to day chores go much more smoothly.

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