Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 102: House Hunting
However, packing and moving isn’t the biggest headache right now, it is his finances.
Zhang Siyi only recently learned how to keep good records of his accounts and manage his money. He doesn’t have any savings and his credit cards were overdrawn. Previously, Fu Xinhui would help pay rent in advance and then Zhang Siyi would pay him back when he could. As a result, Zhang Siyi formed a habit of paying rent late and thus, since his rent is due now, he doesn’t have it. Since Fu Xinhui family went bankrupt and he is going abroad, the spoiled Zhang Siyi must clean up the mess alone.
When you start living in a new apartment, the lease normally requires a deposit and one months rent in advance when you sign a contract. In the current location, it is absolutely impossible to rent a place for 4000 monthly.
Zhang Siyi looked at the ceiling and sighed. First, he needed to go out and see what was available and then determine if he could afford it. Like Lu Qiao, he might have to find a place farther from the city center.
While thinking about his rent issues, Gu Yu replied: “Where is he going?”
Zhang Siyi: “He’s going abroad.”
Gu Yu: “So, what are your plans? Are you ready to move?”
Ten days ago, Zhang Siyi mentioned the issue of moving so he didn’t hesitant to reply: “I have until the end of the month.”
Gu Yu: “Are you going to find a roommate?”
Zhang Siyi: “Since I have the dog, I am not sure if I will be able to find a roommate so I’ll probably just find an apartment for myself.”
After he sent the message, he was expecting a fast reply. Zhang Siyi held his phone staring at the screen waiting for the text from Gu Yu for a long time. When he couldn’t wait any longer, he went to put the phone down, however the phone sounded. Gu Yu messaged: “If there are any difficulties, you can tell me.”
Zhang Siyi emotions were a wreck. Usually he isn’t so vulnerable, but today, he was immersed with sad feelings from Fu Xinhui’s departure. He especially wanted to be comforted by Gu Yu.
Although Zhang Siyi thought Gu Yu’s message was probably just his concern for a friend and subordinate, and even with the sour feeling Zhang Siyi has since Tao Fei appearance, his heart warmed up a little.
Zhang Siyi replied: “Well, thank you.”
Regardless of Gu Yu’s feelings, with his best friend gone, Zhang Siyi can only find comfort in Gu Yu’s support. In the later part of the month, Zhang Siyi was met with another disaster. Being faced with the truth of the cost of renting a new home has left Zhang Siyi feeling drained. This experience has been the most difficult since returning to China!
The next day, Zhang Siyi went to work early and made a few phone calls to an agency and ask about apartment rentals. As he expected, there are similar sized apartments and rental costs in the vicinity he now lives in. Since there aren’t cheaper places, he will have to move further from the city center.
When he got out of the elevator, Zhang Siyi saw the receptionist with Tao Fei. He heard Tao Fei ask: “Why are there so many cacti?”
“Because Director Gu likes cactus. When it was his birthday, the female employees in the design department bought him cactus as gifts, but instead of keeping them, he donated the plants to the company so now, there are a lot that haven’t been claimed. ”Flirting with Tao Fei, the young girl at the front desk quietly revealed this secret to him.”
Tao Fei laughed: “Gu Yu likes cactus? Why didn’t I know!? Which one is his?”
Hearing the change in attitude from Tao Fei at the mention of Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi felt irritated. He couldn’t help himself from slowing his pace in order to continue listening in on their conversation.
“The Director raised this one.” The young receptionist pointed to the big cactus on the shelf.
Tao Fei only glanced at the big cactus and moved his line of sight to the small ball next to it: “This small cactus next to it looks like it came from the big one. I’ll take care of that one.”
Although the cactus is actually an imposter and the real cactus is at his house, when he heard Tao Fei make claim to the cactus, he felt angry and frazzled. Even if it was counterfeit, the cactus was his exclusive plant that Gu Yu gave him!”
The receptionist replied: “That cactus is being raised by someone already, Aunt Four.”
Tao Fei wondered and questioned: “Who is Aunt-sister? Are there relatives in this company?”
Zhang Siyi: “……” Auntie, your sister!
The young women covered her mouth hiding her laugh: “No, no. Aunt Four is a boy. It’s his nickname.” She then turned to the huge picture on the wall………
….. Zhang Siyi wanted to reach out and stop her. Nnnnoooooo!! (QAQ)
But it was too late. Zhang Siyi saw the young girl at the front desk reach out and point at Zhang Siyi’s silly sleepy photo, saying, “It’s him!”
With his large eye getting even bigger, Tao Fei flashed a face of surprise: “Oh, it is him!” But his surprise turned into a funny smile: “Who took this photo of him? It’s stupid.”
Zhang Siyi: “…………” It’s too much!
Spotting Zhang Siyi coming in, the young women called out to him: “Hey Mr. Zhang!”
Hearing his name being called, Zhang Siyi was even more annoyed. Tao Fei was really surprised to see him, but his silence only lasted a few seconds. He watched Zhang Siyi and laughed out loud crazily: “Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!”
Clenching his jaw, Zhang Siyi glared at him angrily, and stepped through them with heavy footsteps to get into the office.
….. He hates Tao Fei! (╰皿╯)
During the lunch break at noon, Zhang Siyi planned to take some time to look at housing options. It suddenly occurred to him; the real estate agent who he exchanged business cards with when he first joined Borderless.
He opened his desk drawer and searched through the documents. Finding it among the office stuff in his draw, he pulled it out a looked on the backside for the phone number. Zhang Siyi removed the man’s number from the blacklist and made a phone call.
After the call was connected, he did not hear the usual introductory voice of ‘hello I’m so-n-so, can I help you’ and instead there was a pause and an angry voice: “Who is this?”
“Uh, is this Mr. x from the real estate agency?”
“The real estate market hasn’t been good. I’ve quit!” Then Zhang Siyi heard the sound of the phone hanging up. Leaving Zhang Siyi hanging out to dry, he looked at his phone in surprise and thought: -Shit! I didn’t think there would be a day when the intermediary would hang up on me!
The agent who had previously harassed him endlessly last fall, quit. He went downstairs to look around for an agency near his company. Looking at the listings through the window for information, he was shocked to find that the rent at eight thousand a month for a 1 room studio was even more outrageous. Shit! Just kill me!
Mulling over this new information, he strolled back to his company. Zhang Siyi didn’t think his mood could get any worse than it already was, but when he arrived back to the company, he saw Tao Fei and Gu Yu just coming back together from lunch. Fuck! Just kill me again!
“Hey! Mr. Zhang!” Tao Fei smiled and waved at him.
Gu Yu also looked at him, and opened his mouth to say something……
Feeling like he couldn’t take it any longer, Zhang Siyi spoke in a monotone voice and interrupted: “I’m going to the convenience store.” As he turned and headed to the nearby store, he heard Tao Fei say: “He’s a strange guy.”
After a full day at work, Zhang Siyi returned home in the evening. He went to walk the dog and continue to pack and clean up the apartment.
When he Fu Xinhui returned briefly after the New Year’s, he packed the important items and the clothes he wanted and took them away with him. At that time, it wasn’t clear whether or not he was going to continue liveing in the apartment. Zhang Siyi asked about his room once, and Fu Xinhui said he couldn’t bring the stuff abroad, so he left the remaining things in his room for Zhang Siyi to dispose of.
Fortunately, the boys did not have a lot of possessions. Other than extra cloths and bedding, there were assorted decorations and kitchen supplies to deal with.
Zhang Siyi was surprised to find the set of the Bose surround speakers that Fu Xinhui bought for more then ten thousand in his old room. Even in the face of his family’s bankruptcy, it seems like he hasn’t been able to let go of his nouveau riche spending habits. (=_=)
Already having experienced the hardships of life, Zhang Siyi chose to pack up the used speakers and post them to a secondhand website at a discount. It only took ten minutes until someone from the website contacted him. Solving one small problem for Zhang Siyi, they made arrangements to make the sale the same night. Zhang Siyi was happy to make some easy money. Pocketing his eight thousand, he looked at Cheer-Up and said: “Lucky dog, hmmm?”
With his tongue hanging out, the dog just panted: “Ha~Ha~Ha~.”
Putting his arms on waist, Zhang Siyi viewed his handiwork. With only a few more things to pack, the room was nearly empty and clean. When he was done, he noticed a bunch of new messages about the Bose speakers. “Bose speakers for only 8000. Are those fakes?”
Looking at the phrase ‘only eight thousand’ Zhang Siyi wonders: Eight thousand is cheap? It’s a month’s salary!
Another message appeared: “The original price of the speakers is 17,000. If they are less then a year old and 90% new, the second-hand market price is 13000. At 8000, are they really not fakes?”
Zhang Siyi: “……” Fuck!
Zhang Siyi’s heart is bleeding! He thought he made a quick buck, but the truth of the matter, is that in a blink of an eye, he lost potentially five-thousand. – Why didn’t I investigate the pricing a little beforehand! No wonder the buyer came here so quickly to inspect the speakers. Ah! Fucking idiot!
Cheer-Up: “Ha ~ Ha ~ Ha ~”
Zhang Siyi grabbed a pillow from the sofa and threw it at the dog: “Shut up!”
Wasting energy over his stupidity isn’t going to get Zhang Siyi anywhere. Resigned, he finished packing and cleaning for the day. On the bright side, he found a solution to his immediate financial needs. The eight-thousand will be used to pay rent for a new apartment. Before going to sleep, Zhang Siyi got into the habit of practicing music.
Lately, playing the violin has allowed him to let go of the day’s pressure and feel more relaxed. It is strange. Zhang Siyi used to think that practicing the violin every day was a huge chore. He thought the repetition, playing the same thing over and over and over, that one needed to do in order to learn new music was a boring, impossible task. This is especially true for learning difficult music and learning Summer is no exception. But now that Zhang Siyi set a goal, he is determined to play the song Gu Yu requested and the next development is far easier then he imagined.
After two weeks of practice, Zhang Siyi has been able to play the song through without music. Although there are a few problematic areas and he needs to speed up the tempo overall, his existing progress and achievements gave Zhang Siyi a huge sense of accomplishment that lifted up his spirit out of the abyss.
Moreover, David Garret’s Summer interpretation is very exciting like a sultry summer afternoon when the clouds come, the rain pours, the wind blows, the thunder rumbles, the lightning strikes, like this ever-changing force, like his oppressive love, the contradiction is fierce.
Through the sound of the violin, to find relief, to seek hope, he desperately wanted a breakthrough. With his vigorous arm movements and quick fingers, he vented his love and jealousy that had nowhere else to go. He vented the backlog of stress and fatigue from the long work day that had nowhere to go. All of his negative feelings were like the notes from the page resonating then floating into the air.
After playing, all of his troubles retreated and his heart was soothed once again.
Zhang Siyi didn’t know playing the violin could be so therapeutic. Now, like an itchy mosquito bite that can’t be ignored, he wanted to play violin every day. Feeling the energy in the music every night, brings him strength and confidence to face a new day.
Blocking out all extraneous feelings, he focused his attention to his immediate needs. Methodically, he went to work for the day, he took a break a noon to look for an apartment and then at home every day in the evening, he cleaned and packed up his apartment. After ten intensely focused days, Zhang Siyi finished the blueprints of the entire office building six days ahead of schedule. He didn’t even need to ask for Du Rui help. Even Zhang Siyi was surprised at his own accomplishments under such a vigorous schedule.
Was this the breakthrough Zhang Siyi wanted?