Thursday, 16 October 2008

Pot Plants and Perspiration

Week seven:
In which I tell you about moving house
(which we did in week five)

When I first arrived here, some of you may know that I was sleeping on the couch in Halla's flat as her place didn't have a spare room, but a month in we got a new flat with a plenty of bedrooms for Halla, her flatmate, Aisling (our flatmate now, of course), and little old me. A week or so before we were due to move in we went round to the new place and met the landlady. This was my first peek at the flat and, as promised, it was a bit of a step up from where we were already. The flat is right at the top of the building (sixth floor so not exactly Taipei 101, but no lift so quite high enough thanks), as it's on the top floor it's a duplex and pretty much twice as big as the last place. I had a quick shufti and confirmed that, yes I had a bed in it's own room but that it was approximately a fifth of the size of Halla's palatial suite with private balcony and we were to be paying the same in rent... hang on a tick. Cue a furious whispered discussion where I managed to broker a deal giving me a second room in the house - a wee box room upstairs which seemed to have marvellous potential for a studio/ office - great, finally I can stop suffering and start writing that symphony...

We were anticipating a fairly stress-free move as the old flat was in a compound directly across the road from the new place, however, as previously mentioned the new place is on the sixth floor and the old place on the fifth.... nice, and not a lift in sight... Luckily, this is China where there is an abundance of people who can be hired for just about any purpose and we managed to get a couple of chaps to cart everything over in a little rickshaw then run up and down the stairs with the large piles of stuff, bits, bobs, odds, ends and large pieces of furniture which over the last year or so in the old place, Halla and Aisling had managed to amass. Credit where it's due, we also had lovely Anuj helping Halla and Aisling out at the old flat and me at the new one shifting their stuff into their respective rooms, providing the increasingly sweaty movers with cool drinks and just generally being a godsend and a wonderful help to all involved. By mid afternoon time was running out and the two moving men were going to have to leave and do their real jobs. Halla, Anuj and Aisling were at this point slightly frazzled, standing outside the old place, surrounded by a mountain of boxes and bookshelves, on the phone to me asking how quickly the two guys would be able to get back (one of whom was, by now, on the verge of a heart attack but going out in style with a cigarette permanently dangling out his mouth), when luckily, sensing the pickle they had gotten themselves into, some of our old neighbours managed to produce a van out of thin air and between them and the two heroic moving men they got the job done. Bish, bash and, indeed, bosh.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks and a couple of trips to Ikea later and we're pretty much all unpacked and settled in. George (the little cat who came with the flat and sits on a mat while scratching our tat and meowing - the brat) has come out of his shell. He was understandably a bit miffed for the first few days that his owners had moved to Australia, left him behind and had three strange women move in without so much as a by-your-leave but I think we won him over by buying two enormous 40 kuai houseplants from Ikea which he now, every day without fail, gleefully clambers up and munches on before lovingly throwing up green bile for us to find with our newly showered bare feet. Lovely. At least he hasn't started presenting us with disembowelled vermin - yet.

So nice and settled in the new flat, have started private Chinese lessons and also had my training for the exam marking at the British Council, unless I made lots of mistakes in my first 21 papers I should be doing that every week from this Sunday. I have also bought a digital camera so the next blog will be jam packed with photos and also more stories about my adventures learning Chinese, trying to hold down a job and The New Beijing International Movie Week.

Competition Time!
This week a worthless piece of Chinese tat for anyone who can correctly identify the film reference in this week's blog. Closing date Oct 27th '08.


  1. Doo do do do, do do do do do do do.... What on earth could Moses suppose the answer might be?

  2. Ok, you win a prize - I'll get you something special out of Bai Nao Hui tomorrow :)

  3. He probably supposes erroneously!

    Whereas I know :)

    Grab your dictionary Vicky - what does 小結 xiǎo jié mean?

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  5. 你好。 好看您。

    Hiya! My god, you can't half write Vicky..! Not that I don't enjoy reading what the hell you've been up to but jeezo..!

    Things sound good?! Seems like you're settled in and making your mark, altough i'm still waiting to see some lovely lomo's of your new habitat... please post some soon!

    I never found out anything worth passing on re: super 8 stuff in China. Any joy yet? Would be nice to have something on celluloid eh?

    I might have missed it in one of your epic posts, but what job are you doing? Do you think you'll be sticking around beyond december then? If you do come back, be prepared for the fact that there are no jobs whatsoever here. I can't even get a full time gig at bloody blockbuster, let alone something remotely interesting or well-paid. It's dark times!

    Anyhow, glad to see all is well and good, keep the posts coming and 停留保險櫃并且获得乐趣.
    (i'm probably pasting in the wrong dialect or it the wrong words, but whatever!)

    S x