Nihao everyone. My first full week in China and it has been crazy busy. Like, it is 4pm on Sunday and I am now ready to start my weekend. In the words of my old friend, Bon Jovi (just kidding, we are not really friends):
Sitting here wasting away…at this old computer.
I have to generate a business analysis which has driven me completely mad. I collected my data last week, and started yesterday at 7am thinking I would knock it out by noon. I stopped because I was half blind at 6:30pm, started again this morning at 8 and I just finished. Mostly. Of course, as usual, I was my own worst enemy. I rewrote the thing probably 5 times, and cannot stop “tweaking”. Anyhow, work is over for the weekend and I am ready to RELAX and have some fun. Or at least make a little dinner and watch a dvd.
It has been a few months since I was last here, and, unfortunately, my language skills did not improve while I was away. I asked about Mr. Zhou (and pronounced it like “ow” with a sort of “zh” sound in front of it) during a meeting. Blank stares around the table. Come to find out, this is pronounced “joe”. I am never going to get this. But the meeting went great despite my linguistic failures, and hopefully we are on track for a large wind project.
I noticed a couple of days ago that the ceiling in the second bathroom was leaking. Not a heavy leak, but a steady drip……drip……drip. So I asked the building manager to have someone come check it out. Considering some of the construction around here, I was afraid that maybe the ceiling would come down on my head while I’m doing my hair. Better safe than sorry right?
So yesterday the doorbell rings. I go open the door, see the workman, raise my eyes – he raises his eyes – our eyes meet – instant recognition. OMG. It’s the guy who responded to my little mishap when I blew up the stove the first day I moved in (for those new to the blog, go all the way down to the first post). So what do you suppose was the first thing out of his mouth? It sure wasn’t Nihao!
“What you do now?” he asked.
“What? Nothing” I said. ”I didn’t do anything”.
He walked to the bathroom muttering under his breath (in Chinese) and I am 10,000% sure it was about me and I am 100,000% sure it was not nice. I am not sure of his name, but I would bet that the English translation would be Mr. Grouchy Pants.
And seriously, how many years has it been since the whole stove incident? How can he even remember that far back? And do you think I am the only person who has ever blown up a stove here? I will forever be remembered as that western idiot who could not manage to work a Chinese stove properly.
I am unforgiven.
He said it was the plumbing. The plumber came and said it is the air conditioner. The air con guy came and said it is the plumbing. I give up. If I go in that bathroom, I’m gonna wear my hard hat.
The maids came yesterday while I was plugging away on the computer. I had my iPod on my Latin playlist – it keeps the blood moving during marathon computer sessions. Plus, I have a wooden floor in my home office and a chair with rollers. So when I need a wake up break, I can do a sort of wiggle-roller salsa in my chair around the office. Anyhow, decided to take a break so one of the ladies could clean the floor. I walked into the living room and almost fell apart laughing. The maid was pushing the broom around and doing a sort of Chinese salsa-cha cha J.Lo kind of thing. She was so embarrassed that I felt bad, so I decided we all needed a break and I taught them a little salsa. Is it any wonder I have a reputation in this complex?
So I decided to try to go back to a modified vegetarian diet. I have done pretty well with the exception of a small slip in Beijing that involved red curry and chicken. I am not in love with the produce at City Shops as it is prepackaged and many times I find the rotten side is facing the bottom where I can’t see. So as I was walking back from Paris Baguette I peeked into this doorway that I have passed probably 100 times. I have always wondered what was in there, but it is dark, you cannot really see anything from the sidewalk and truthfully, I was a little afraid to go in and see. I mean what if it was an opium den, or gambling room or something equally nefarious? I could get myself killed right? I think I might have had a little sun stroke as it was about 100 degrees with 100% humidity, but for some reason I made a right turn and walked on in. Produce paradise! The place is a farm to market hall with stalls where the farmers sell their fruits and veggies. I am in love! Got some cauliflower, edamame, asparagus, bananas – you name it I got it. And really cheap (even though I am sure I pay 3 times what the locals pay).
They had fresh dragon fruit – which has been my favorite for the past few years, but I had never bought one fresh.
I have also had a few requests to see what my apartment looks like. This photo is taken from my balcony looking in.
And this is my little kitchen (different one than the one I blew up the stove in – I changed from a high-rise 1 bedroom to a lower rise 2 bedroom for the same price).
So I think it is time for a little R&R. I will leave you with a photo I took last evening of a gorgeous Shanghai sunset.