Famous International Brand

Although I still have 3 weeks left of classes, it’s definately summer in Amherst. Stick decided to spring for an air conditioner instead of a fan, and he picked up and installed the new box with amazing speed. Actually, we now have two air conditioners… which means our rooms-to-AC ratio is swiftly tipping in favor of the air conditioners.

I came in to admire Stick’s new handiwork, and enjoy the nice cold bedroom, but I felt a vague unease about the rapidly-cooling room. There was something ominous about the AC, something wrong that I just couldn’t put my finger on.

This morning, I noticed that our new AC is made by Haier.

Although Haier is known to all my Chinese students as a “famous international brand,” I’d never heard of thm before going to China. Haier was the name (and the weird naked-babies logo) on the washer that didn’t work properly in my first Yantai apartment. I also had a moody DVD player made by them. It might have been the laowei model, since Ryan’s DVD player seems pretty tempermental too.

It’s not really that Haier are bad guys, I think, it’s more that the standards for appliances in China are pretty low. They tend to give out as often as Sims’ do. I had a (non-Haier) AC in my second Yantai apartment, which started smoking one midsummer afternoon. My landlady told me that was because I shouldn’t turn it up all the way or leave it on for more than a half-hour.

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