If you look at apartments that other foreigners are moving out of you’ll most likely find that they’ve done a bit of work on it, like painting or cooler furniture. There is an IKEA for reasonably priced tables, bed frames, sofas, kitchen stuff and B and Q for painting supplies. I painted my place and although the floor is tiled, it feels a lot less cold and dank. I had the same window problem and bought a foam filler and sealed them all shut. when it dried, i sliced down the middle with a jack-knife so now when they close, there is no draft and no mosquitos can come in.
Noise is HUGE factor. I live in a nice neighborhood directly behind United daily news on chongxiao east rd. sec. 4 but there are restaurants on the first floors of each neighboring building which leads to a lot of people standing outside smoking and holloring in taiwanese late at night when the restaurants close (and inconsiderate assholes with never-ending car alarms that don’t get shut off unless i call the cops).
Also, included in my rent is a cleaning fee. once a week a bunch of women in rubber boots come and hose down the stairwells and scrub the walls since closing the windows in the stairwell doesn’t seem like a viable option for the other tenants. :loco:
There is also a place for everyone to dump their trash so i never have to take it out myself.
Hanging pictures is hell, like housecat mentioned. you have to drill a hole and then hammer one of those plugs in. More often than not, a huge chunk of wall falls out and I have to caulk it and repaint. It’s definately a nuissance.
I bought an excellent space heater this year and have a dehumidifier as well so that help with the inside temperature.
No matter what though, the run of the mill apt. that most teachers can afford is horrible compared to western apartments. you might want to look into getting a studio (I did and it’s a nice size for one person. no kitchen though).
When i first came to Taiwan i lived outside taipei in ShiJr which has a lot of newer highrises and more modern apartments at a much lower price than taipei city. However, 4 days after I arrived there was a huge typhoon and the entire city flooded pretty bad. and being on the 17th floor during an earthquake isn’t how i like to get my shits and giggles.
I’m surprised no one has mentioned the cockroaches…