Appartment Ding Xiang Lu / Cooking

Appartent Ding Xiang Lu

As I had introduced my first appartment in “Royal Garden” (RG), I should also describe our new one. Other than the one in RG, this here is privately organized, no longer by the company. The story behind that is long and has mostly to do with the fact, that RG was pretty much far away from everything. Some people wanted to get closer to the project site (those, who have weekly or bi-weekly flybacks to their families), a few others wanted to get closer to the city (those with 4 flybacks per year). I was one of them who wanted to live closer to the city to have a better chance to get in there on the weekends. In the end, 4 people arranged for 2 appartments, which they shared. So I now share our appartment with a colleague. It was actually him who did all the research work and visited the appartments as I was on training and flyback during this time. When I came back to Shanghai the new appartment was already rented and my old one (with all my stuff still in!) handed over to the next colleague. Many thanks, Don did a great job!

40/41: The living room. Wood parquetry, light interieur, well-chosen and combined. Certainly, we rented a furnished appartment and, thus, had no influence on the furniture. But it’s great. Our landlady has an excellent taste.

45: The kitchen. Sometimes a bit few space to work on, but extremely well equipped: 3 flames gas stove plus electric oven(!), microwave, obligatory rice cooker, toaster, dish washer(!).

46: My bathroom. We actually have two. As I was the second person to move in I had to live with the left-over rooms, only fair. So the smaller bathroom as shown here (a few minutes after I had a shower…) is mine. Don’s bedroom has a bathroom directly attached to it, very convenient. I have to run across the appartment.

42: My room as it looked like on the day when I moved in: I had no furnitures yet. I came back directly from Germany with my big suitcase full of enough clothes for 2 weeks, so I could live without having any closet or my stuff, which was still in the old appartment. I slept on the brown couch, which we had moved from the living room. Not great, but OK.

53./54: A week later: My furniture has arrived. Inclusive a cabinet large enough for me alone, which is not shown on the above pics. Bed linen are actually my own buy already on the first day. Was quite funny as up to 4 people at Carrefour tried to help me choosing the right bed clothes, which was a bit difficult as my Chinese is still very limited and the Carrefour staff’s English also. But looks nice, doesn’t it? I have a writing desk, which I very much appreciate, so that I do not have to occupy the dining table for work purposes.

I will not unveil the rent we pay. But paying the first two rents plus a deposit certainly summed up to a good amount of money, a 5-digit RMB sum. Well, without having a local bank account we had to pay cash. And the largest RMB note available is 100 RMB. I had brought a considerable amount of Euro notes into China, changed them locally to a huge pile of RMB notes. And that was the package we one evening handed over to our landlady, which visited us to check latest things. She speaks English very well, what makes things a lot simpler. She also organized a cleaning lady for us, which cleans the appartment twice a weak. And she also helped us out with other things around the appartment. We really had much luck with both appartment and landlady!


910 Ding Xiang Lu, Pudong New Area, 200135 Shanghai


(Block and appartment number, which you need as postal address or for visits, on request by mail)

The appartment is very conveniently located between city and project site. It is still far outside in Pudong, but now only a 15-minute walk (or 3 minute bus ride) to the next subway station. Thus, I can be downtown in a matter of 20 minutes, which is a lot lot better than before from the old appartments. On the other hand, it is also only a 30 minute taxi ride to the project site. Now, as we are living on our own, we also have to take care of transportation on our own. We nearly always do it by taxi. Hailing a cab is even during the rush hour in the morning no big trouble. Ding Xiang Lu is well served by many taxies. I’m rarely waiting longer than 3 minutes in front of our gate before getting a taxi.


The new location also made it simpler to invite guests. And so it happened that I finally could start cooking with a Shanghai friend of mine. The next Carrefour supermarket is conveniently located only a 10-minute walk away and offers all kind of local and abroad specialties. So we now often on the weekends stroll through Carrefour and sometimes only there decide what to cook right after. My friend now digged more and more into the cooking business, also at home. As a local Shanghainese, that certainly ends up in a lot of Chinese cooking. I can add a couple of western dishes to our menu. And so we either take turns or even combine things on one evening.

Hence, we had such sometimes simple, sometimes great things like:

  • Pasta with Bolognese-like sauce
  • Shrimps (pretty fresh, although not alive), cooked in Chinese sauce
  • Gratinated zucchini and eggplant (aubergine)
  • Chicken feet
  • Lasagne
  • Crabs (they entered the kitchen alive!)

Yeah, the kitchen has already seen quite some food, including some stuff I would have never dared to do at home, but thanks to my friend I learned here that it isn’t difficult. She has done the dishes only once before, just learned at her home. Fantastic progress, actually! And I learned, that dealing with all this seafood is actually no so difficult as it might look like in the beginning. Eating crabs, however, is an art by itself. I had to learn that, too, but according to my friend I did especially the dealing with the thin legs quite well. The main body of a crab is actually easier to deal with, but I did not like the meat there too much. And so, once again, we shared our food so-to-say horizontally: She ate some parts (here the crab’s main body), I took over the rest (here the legs and claws).

17-Sep, 02: In the back: Raw chicken feet and raw shrimps. We pampered westerners might even have forgotten, that shrimps (and crabs as well) turn red only when cooked.

07-Oct, 02: Our set of 4 crabs, all of them still alive, thus, tightly bound. Fairly tightly at least. One of them finally got loose while still bathing in cold water in a pot. Well, I was a bit afraid of what to do with a loose crab, but my friend handled it bravely and professionally. Together we could bind the crab again.

07-Oct, 03: I did eat them! However, not alive as it looks like in this picture. And I liked the meat in the legs and claws best, not the comparably soft yellow and orange stuff from the main body, which most Chinese regard as one of the most delicious part of the crab. Eating them is quite some work, so you could actually feel more and more hungry while eating…and it leaves a lot of rubbish, which you better get rid of immediately, otherwise your kitchen stinks like old seafood… 😉

Categories: Shanghai

Originally Created: 10/09/2005 02:53:29 PM

Last Edited: 10/09/2005