My air conditioner died. I know, I know, you were expecting this post to be all about Stick and how great he is and stick-figure romance and our trip to Beijing to pick up my sister and our visit the Great Wall and our Peking duck night and other assorted adventures.
But my A/C died. I was sleeping on the couch while Stick was doing some laundry, do we have high romance or what? Stick woke me to tell me that my AC was making a strange burning smell.
So, I told the woman at my school who deals with our housing, and she promised to call the landlord and get someone in there as soon as possible. Which actually was as soon as possible because I got a phonecall the next morning saying that the landlord would be over in 20 minutes to fix it. And by “the landlord” I was supposed to infer “a translator from my school, Helen’s mom, a repairman and the landlord”. So with Stick, my little Bethie and me, that makes seven people in the very hot apartment.
The first round of questions were tech-support moron locaters, did you turn it on? is it plugged it? did you unplug it? Then we turned on the AC and waited until the burning smell started again. There were a few moments when the landlord insisted she couldn’t smell anything and then the outlet started smoking and the repairman turned off the power and started to take things apart.
While we were waiting, my landlord walked around the apartment looking at things. She wanted to know what happened to the waterfall picture in my living room. I tried to explain that when I was dusting for Stick’s visit, the picture (and quite a lot of the plaster on the wall) fell down. She demanded to see where the picture was, so I showed her that I hadn’t hocked it.
Then my landlord looked in my sister’s room. Someone Beth’s room looks like her suitcase exploded all over the room, only this suitcase has a cold and so there are tissues all over the place too. She didn’t say anything, but the look on her face transcended language. It was the look our mom gets sometimes. It’s nice to see that some things are universal.
Instead of a kitchen table, I have a card table. It’s not actually the folding kind but it looks like a table someone picked up at Target and then passed around four or five starter apartments before it ended up in my hallway/kitchen. When I moved in there was an explicable comforter draped across it, but I decided that my table didn’t really need a quilt in the summer.
My landlord was quite upset that I was letting the card table get scratched. I mean, what if I decided to eat dinner in the hallway? And I put a bowl on the table? And it left a mark? Do you see the disaster that could ensue?
Stick wants you all to see my kitchen. The item in the back is not actually a keg but a gas tank for a burner. (No, I don’t mean stove, I meant burner) You may also notice that there’s no dinner table nor any space for one, and there’s why I’ve been refering to my hall/kitchen. Stick thinks this will give you some perspective on my discussion with my landlord. Posting the kitchen picture seems like a good idea but Stick is also the person who read my guidebook’s section on Chinese diseases and then said “Good thing I didn’t read this at home — I would never have come!”