As far as the decor and furnishings go, this apartment isn’t as nice as a lot of the corporate ones. The floor’s thin veneer that’s buckling in spots, and in’s not that the furniture is from Ikea, but that it’s the cheaper stuff from Ikea – what you get for your first apartment. The table only seats four, there’s only three wineglasses (well, two after I broke one today!), and there are about four plates and they don’t all match. On the wall are framed pictures of cars and comic-book graphics. The kitchen’s nice, stainless steel and navy cabinets, but the fridge is plain white and doesn’t quite match the rest. Though to be fair, the floor is still nicer than the cheap carpet my early apartments had, the windows are top quality, and there are floor-to-ceiling drapes including very dark ones in the bedrooms. And the bathrooms are all tiled. It’s nice, but not the lap of luxury except for that spectacular view. I was in a colleague’s corporate apartment on Friday that’s just gorgeous – two big sofas instead of my loveseat, a modern-rustic long solid wood dining table I’d love to have in my own house, a beautiful kitchen out of a decorating magazine. The linens and plates are nice, matching, and there are lots.

But thinking about it, aside from mild bathroom envy (he has two toilets instead of my silly urinal and a tub as well as a shower) I’d much rather be in this apartment. This one is more functional, and probably bigger as well. His kitchen is one short wall and an island; mine is L-shaped and each leg is much bigger. My fridge is as big as one you’d get in a decent US apartment and has a good-sized freezer, whereas he has a tiny built-in fridge and eensy internal freezer. My oven is a third larger and I definitely have more kitchen storage. Judging from the pants hanging in his hall closet, I probably have more bedroom storage space too. My guest bedroom has a double bed, a fair bit of space around it, and two big armoires, whereas his has a storage wall but only fits a single bed. This one kitchen is also a lot better for cooking in than the one in our previous pace here (also beautiful but not too functional) and the bed’s definitely much better than the squishy waterbed we had there.

The funny thing is that my colleague probably would prefer his kitchen over mine. The one functional advantage his has is that it’s got gas burners instead of the radiant ones I have. Mine heat up slowly and don’t get as hot as I’d like. Since he’s Taiwanese (and cooks Taiwanese style), he’d want to cook over high heat and is used to shopping frequently. So the gas burners are of more value to him and he won’t mine the tiny oven and small refrigerator.

But yeah, I like this place. It’s not really big enough for both of us when Ted gets here (no where to put the weight set) but it’s pretty nice for me.