Start with a credit card. If you can get a credit card - then you can work your way up to a housing bank loan.
As with all countries, the bank will look at your employment and the company you work for to determine their risk.
If you've been in-country for less than (arbitrarily) 2-3 years - the bank can't generate a credit profile and will probably decline.
So - start with the credit card...
maybe in a couple of years, after we recover from that LONG drought. But I'm kind of with @nnoble - clean, cool (for the summer) and if it's raining, mosquitoes aren't buzzing around (until the rain stops...then it's a stampede).
The restaurants aren't as crowded - good for me, not so good for the restaurateurs, the zoo is mostly as empty and uncrowded as it'll ever get, and green lake park is a pleasant stroll (with an umbrella).
The device you discussed isn't new - it's been around since at least 2005 - in Beijing. It's an electrically activated button on or around the steering column - with the typical crappy chinese construction, connected to the meter. Makes the meter start churning like a slot machine.
UNSOLICITED ADVICE FOR THOSE FEELING CHEATED WITH CHINESE LANGUAGE SKILLS
If you know the fare and your driver has somehow managed to double your fare - call the complaint hotline - surf thru menu hell. USUALLY, the taxi firm will force the driver to refund the entire fare.
If you see evidence of fraud (like the "secret" button) - you can mention that to the taxi company also - it's illegal - just beware that taxi drivers are essentially a giant family - they WILL behave like gangsters if you confront them - bearing in mind taxi drivers are NOT a well educated strata of society.
I've contemplated those "laotou" e-"carriages" - the infamous boom-boom che's that occasionally cluster outside grocery stores. I've occasionally seen expat families doodling around town with their kids in similar vehicles. Low budget, low cost, not great when it rains...but great for commuting n avoiding street parking.
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