Speaking my rudimentary Cantonese has paid off. After two days in my cubbyhole of a room, I’ve upgraded to a cubicle. The original room I was staying in was decent, enough for my needs. A bed, a toilet, a shower. What more could a man ask for? The Unabomber lived on less.

But after two days of spotty internet — the only time I could get a signal was when I positioned my computer on a 45-degree angle against the pillow — I asked if they had another room, one that had a stronger WiFi connection. And after the wife’s owner teased me on my Cantonese accent — “you’re cute” — they transferred me into a different, slightly larger room, one that even had a window looking out into the alley.

Apparently, I reminded her of her son, who’s also 28. But I’d like to believe it was my effervescence and irresistible charm that persuaded her. You can see pictures of my old room on my Flickr feed. Here’s the new room, I actually have space to do my daily calisthenics, which involve me flexing in the mirror next to the TV:

New digs

The bathroom is still a toilet-shower combo, which I’m finding very, very convenient. The debate whether you can pee (or more) while you shower is settled. You can. Without any guilt.

New digs