It is official. We signed the contract for our quaint Ice Cream shop!! It's located down a small side street, off a larger main street and next to a large High School (2,700 students). It's 20 square meters (215 square feet) with a narrow storefront and yellow metal doors. Everything will be changed soon as we need to 装修 zhuāng xiū (renovate) the inside & outside! Currently there is a Uyghur restaurant to the left, and a Uyghur bakery on the right.
Some silly things:
1. This was the 3rd attempt (in 3 days) to sign our rental agreement, since our previous attempts fell thru for random reasons. It was chaotic, as there was a serious lack of communication with the previous tenant/landlord/us. What seems like a simple meeting - never is!
2. The contract almost didn't get signed at the last minute, as our previous tenant "forgot to mention" his contract was non-transferrable, and the landlord was angry/annoyed with previous tenant's fishy dealings to get out of his contract. We sat there listening to their argument, wondering what would become of this. In the end, the landlord softened to us (we spoke some Uyghur with him) and made an exception!! He granted the transfer and signed a NEW contract with our names on it.
3. When the previous renter finally signed his transfer contract, neighbors came out of the woodwork to begin stripping the old shop of anything left, since we didn't want any of it. They seriously were carrying away random items: shelving, mannequins, cleaning supplies, heating unit = junk. Tons of apartment dwellers came outside to see what was going on. Word spread quickly that the foreigners had rented the shop. Great FREE publicity!!
Here's a video link to see a short glimpse!! Enjoy!