From Legal Evening News:
The end of last month, a 78 year old retired engineer Huang Rixin (黄日新) built 8 units of “Capsule Apartment” in Liulangzhuang, Haidian district in Beijing. Each unit is less than 2 square meters and can only fit a single bed. The monthly rent for each unit is between 200 – 250 yuan.
After the apartments were built, no one has ever come by. So Huang Rixin opened up the apartment units for “test-living”. After test-living, last night “Capsule Apartment” finally welcomed its first tenant!
10 pm at night, Zhang Qi is reading in bed in the “Capsule Apartment”
At 8 pm last night, a 25 year old girl, Zhang Qi (张琪) of Shanxi carried all her belongings – a small suit case and moved into her new place. Short haired and wearing a short shirt, her face was full of sunshine.
Zhang Qi was in Beijing for the past 5 years, currently works at an advertising company in Guangqumen. Her monthly salary is 3000 – 4000 yuan. Couple days ago she found out that the Capsule Apartment allows “test-living”, so she came. 5 days later, most of the people “test-lived” there one by one all moved away, she was the only person brought all her belongings and decided to stay for long term.
She became the first tenant of the capsule apartment.
“I was not very adjusted on the first day” Zhang Qi said, the insulation was not so good, and all her neighbors were migrant workers so it was very noisy at night. And she did not bring a thick enough blanket, so she was very cold and couldn’t sleep on the first night.
“But I am getting use to it!” Zhang Qi smiled and said while she was unpacking.
Last night she brought over cotton fabrics, wallpapers and scissors etc. happily started detracting her new home.
She first used cotton fabrics as her “ceiling” then put up the wallpapers. “There is a fairy tale world in every girl’s heart” Zhang Qi said, in here she can achieve her Beijing dream.
The only inconvenience Zhang Qi felt is the toilet and shower, she must walk outside from her third floor apartment at night to go to the bathroom, and must go to the bath house for shower. But Zhang Qi felt that she can overcome if others can.
Before this she shared an apartment with others and paid 800 yuan per month, but now she has her independent space. Zhang Qi planned to stay here at least for one year, “if possible I would live her until I get married.”
The neighbor migrant workers all do not understand, “we all dislike living here, why would this little girl like to live here?”
Today, the designer of the apartment huang Rixin was pleased and said, “someone is renting, that means my design was acknowledged.”
A reporter wanting to experience this kind of life became Zhang Qi’s next door neighbor.
Zhang Qi putting up paintings to decorate her apartment
Hallway of the Capsule Apartment has Transparent glass floor that sees through downstairs.
Dialogue with Zhang Qi:
(法制晚报: Legal Evening News hereafter referred as FW): What are the main reasons for you to live here?
Zhang: My father died in 2008, my mother does not work and my sister just graduated. The money I save can help my family.
FW: Do your family and friends know that you are living here?
Zhang: I just broke up with my boyfriend. All my good friends knew, wait till I finish decorating and I will invite them over. They even all think I am very “hip”. I felt that running around in life, there is no need to tell my family.
FW: Do you think living here is depressing?
Zhang: This is my own space; you can put up your own photos, feels kind of successful. People are born equal; living here does not mean the future will not be good, maybe a lot of artists will appear here!
FW: Do you think it is safe here?
Zhang: Safe or not I did not think about, I feel most people are good.
FW: Do you have plans to buy a house?
Zhang: Actually in 2008, I used my own money and helps from my mother bought a small home in Shunjing, 20 square meters, no property rights, only 130,000 yuan, now it is worth 220,000 yuan. I am renting it out for 1,200 a month.