How fun it is to look for apartments. Here two incidents:
We come to the meeting point with the housing agent on our old style Beijing bikes. When the landlord shows up the first thing she says to the agent is: “They have no money. Look what kind of bikes they are riding.”. Then despite the fact that we talk to both of them in Chinese the landlord tells the agent that she can go down to 4000.-RMB. The agent tells us then that the rent of the apartment can be 5000.-RMB. The landlord then tells the agent how horrible the former people living in the apartment were as they invited friends over and were really noisy (wew). They had music on (tse tse). The neighbors had to call the police (must have been really bad people). Despite the fact that the landlord then gave me a little small piece of paper with her name and telephone number on it when the agent was not looking we decided that we will not take this apartment.
Today we first met a housing agent A. She then met housing agent B (who we first thought was her partner, but we later realizes they are from different companies). Together we looked at a few apartments. One of them we just happened to pass by and they had their door open so agent A asked them if they are looking for someone to rent it. Agent A then took us to have a look at it as apartment 5. For apartment number 6 we were told to wait for someone to come, but we already had an appointment with another agent C so we said we need to go. Agent C did not want us to meet at the building complex (same one) but at their office. So we cycled there, waited for the agent, they finally came 2 people and one old bike. We then cycled at very low speed with this agent C back to the building complex. There agent C brought us to an apartment that we had already seen, but said we need to wait for the key. And do you know who brought the key? Agent B. We started to laugh really loud. But agent B said that now the guy for the last apartment arrived. And you can guess also he was not the landlord but just again another agent. So the two housing agent C guys and the agent B and this new agent D went together with us to have a look at that apartment. But also this apartment we will not rent even though it was not too bad – we will not pay three levels of agents.