Friday, September 12, 2008 ;
8:59 AM
Dh downloaded a recovery software from a US website, and that cost US$79.90. Most of the images recovered were smaller file sizes and so the majority of the pics and videos I had in the laptop were still not recovered.

Dh decided it was time to call the experts. They managed to recover 85% of what I had. Not too bad. Videos were also retrieved, which we considered as really a bonus, because a lot of people told us videos are difficult to recover.

The cost of the professional service? 1500 yuan (S$300). So my pics and videos have a very costly price tag now. Better be diligent, make many copies, and upload them here as well.

Finally, a pictorial intro of my apt. It's like having you guys over for housewarming. Maybe I should take some pics of the food too. haha.

The tour:

Start from the outside: this is the front of the apt. technically i could have a garden if i wanted, and i asked Dh if I could get someone in to remove the hedges and plant whatever i want. Dh said afterall, it is a rented apt, we have to ask the landlady. but she is in Chengdu, so i gave up trying to change anything right now.

Although when we first arrived, the whole patio/ front area was very very dirty and full of trash, now I rather like the space. The kids can run around and I have plenty of space to hang out my laundry. There is this huge satellite dish that the previous tenant left behind though! It is riveted to the ground and the landlady said she can't remove it. Huh? So now it is an eyesore to me.

So I use it to hang my rugs that need airing. ds1 is playing with the clothes pegs hanging on the clothes line in the pic.

That's our front door. The lamp is still faulty, so when we return home at night, everything is pitch dark, we ca't see the key hole and the keys, always fumbling around. Can't find a suitable bulb for this special lamp yet. That's ds2 still in the pjs H lent us, playing with a water gun. That's why the whole ground is wet. They also use the water gun to shoot at the various insects scurrying on the floor. Haven't mentioned in the blog right?

There seems to be ant nests everywhere, the whole place has millions of ants crawling onto our clothes, bags, shoes, everything initially. So although shooting water at the ants sound cruel, they are quite the pest around here, and I allow the kids to "scare" the ants away.

There are centipedes and all kinds of bugs/ beetles/ spiders and weird annelids. Many species of which I had never seen before. I saw something that looks like silverfish (very flat and "powdery") but then it had very long feelers (much longer than body) and had many legs like a millipede.

Centipedes pop out within the house too, everywhere, anywhere, even in the bedroom. We think maybe ds2 could've got bitten and got the serious rash too? We can't seem to see where the creatures originate but there are so many holes and recesses within the house, it could be from anywhere.

There he is, shooting an ant "away from the house, out of the gate".

It is no wonder sometimes I find my laundry still wet after a whole day sitting out in the blazing sun. The kids must have gotten too excited and shot water at the clothes too.

Below: The study room. It will double up as the kids' bedroom because we want to keep the 2nd bedroom as the guest room for anyone coming over to stay. That's why there is the bunk bed there. We have another Ikea table coming with the boxes from Utah. Kids were playing percussion music then.

That's the living room below. The study room has glass walls, so when kids are in study room playing, I can see them from the living room. Quite like this transparency, although when the kids are running wildly around and fighting near the glass sheets, I do feel it could be very dangerous.

That's the A/C unit, a standing tower. Very popular here, more so than those wall-mounted units we have back home. The sofas/ couches are all covered with a pale yellow cloth now. The landlady bought it and insisted I cover the couches. The couches are a super bright yellow anyway, which I don't fancy. However, the cloth always gets dislodged with the kids jump on the sofa and somersault, so when I have more money, I have to get a sofa cover, those that are fitted.

Landlady is wary of kids dirtying and damaging her sofa.

That's the master bedroom. We all sleep together in it now, cos the kids still are sticky to us, and we are sharing blankets and the fan. haha. We bought only one fan. That's the attached toilet, which has 4 heater lamps. Very bright, good for me when I need to scrutinise my face in the mirror too.

And that's the bedsheet H lent us, else we'll have nothing to sleep on. It is a king-sized bed, and we brought only 1 queen size bedsheet. Don't feel like buying any over here yet. They have Aussino here, but more expensive than in Spore.

View of master bedroom from door. Oh another thing we noticed that is common in all the apts here, if they are done up locally. From H's house and other places we've been to, it seems the locals emphasise the products in the house a lot, for example, look, the shower head is from Italy, the TV from Japan, the curtain from Egypt. They'll buy very expensive curtains and a huge TV to make their house look nice.

But they won't mind the patio with a lot of trash. And they don't mind the stench coming out from all the drainage. And they don't mind the ugly paint covered cables and wires dangling from the a/c units. They also have weird holes all over in the house, for what reason, I don't know. To us, those look really unsightly and everytime I see the dangling cables, I get irritated, and I wonder just how many millions of bugs made their home in the holes, but I can't do much about it.

H's hubby is a engineer. The first thing he commented when he visited us, was the stench coming from the toilet sink. He said people here do not make the sink pipes and toilet drainage pipes with an S loop. The S shape will prevent smell from the underground sewage system from rushing up, and also bacteria, for instance. But here, the pipes lead straight down, or if you like to see it from the other way, straight up from the sewage system. So our whole house stinks of sewage all the time.

I bought 5 boxes of Glade air freshener and placed cans of it everywhere. It helped, just a little. But sometimes when the washing machine is discharging water or someone flushes the toilet, a big waft of the smell will pervade the whole house again.

It was my experienced ayi who taught me the trick. She said every house is like that, when I complained that my house stank. She said what they all do is get a ziploc bag and fill it 3/4 full with water and place these bags of water on top of the drainage holes. Only when you need to drain water, then remove the bags. That way, the smell cannot come out of the hole. Ahhhh, H also tried it when I told her about this tip. Now our houses smell much better.

See the air con unit cables below? Nice glossy curtains beside the dirty cables leading from a hole in the wall to the A/C unit. sigh.
Below is a small platform area near the front door. It is an extension of the living room. I gave the kids that area and designated it as their games area. They play there and keep all their books and toys there, so they don't mess up the rest of the house. Dh and I chose this apt over the 15 others he viewed cos of this area. haha.

Ok, currently the guest room acts as our store room. We put all the luggage bags and stuff there, but rest assured, it will be nice and neat should you come to stay.

The kitchen. haha. Yes, we've got 2 fridges. There used to be one fridge and one deep freezer. Koreans love deep freezers because they make huge batches of kimchi and other stuff and freeze them. But the original fridge we went provided with has more than half freezer space already. See the white fridge? The whole bottom compartment is freezer space! So we don't the the huge deep freezer. The landlady took that away and gave us her other fridge, since she was moving out of town. So now, we use one fridge for raw food, and the other for cooked food, drinks and snacks.

Oh, I don't have a clothes dryer and dishwasher now. Appliances I have grown to love dearly in Utah. haha. That bulky thing below the bar table is something popular here, called a 消毒柜. Apparently people wash their dishes then place the dishes into this machine and turn on the zapping rays to sterilise the dishes and glasses.

H also has one in her house that she doesn't use. For us as well, we're not used to it. We just wash the dishes cleanly and then let them dry on the rack.

The other side of the kitchen. I would prefer larger sinks and a higher tap, cos now I have difficulty washing deeper pots and stuff. I don't have enough counter space too. But we have to make do. I would love to have a long bar with S-hooks to hang all my stuff in a row. But Dh says we are not allowed to drill holes into the walls, as it is rented. Sigh.

View of kitchen from living room. That's the dining area also. It is continuous with the living area.
And that's the piano the kind landlady left for us. Yay!

The dining table is a glass top one. It is very difficult to maintain the glass top because whenever I wipe the table top, I still have to dry it at once, if not, water marks were appear. So I bought a simple plastic table cover.

Remember a previous post on how they just patch up the sink cabinet when the new sink was smaller than the hole they cut? He just used some wood pieces to hold the sink up. Very pretty hor?

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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-{dear-hubby}- dh
-{dear-son}-ds1 T
-{dear-son}-ds2 J
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