Sunday, October 16, 2005

I've Moved!

the post below was written on sunday night, october 16th, and i was in a frightfully cranky and depressed state after a loooooong day (that began so nicely at 3 a.m.) and i don't know exactly what it was that made me snap but you should note that the mood totally passed. every once in a while you just have to do a little freaking out, and then you recover. i look back at this now (wednesday night) trying to decide whether it belongs on-line and i've decided it does because it reflects how i felt that night. but try not to hold it against me ... man, i was so cranky ... but i had personal things going on too, and i had been waiting on john for two or three hours to take me to the new apartment and he kept calling saying '20 more minutes' and then he left me there without explaining even where i was because he couldn't park the car! and i was just not good that night, man. not good. my fellow teachers here at the school also have a freak-out moment every once in a while. it just happens. well, then, with no further ado:

So I've moved down in the world.

Some might consider it like moving up - but I'm frightened.

I've gone from my happy, peaceful, temporary studio apartment digs into an apartment I share for one month with the Ding Ding Dang Chinese teacher, whose name is Snow. God knows that may well not be her real name. Who knows? Much like the English, Ding Ding Dang has a Chinese language learning branch for the kids, Ping Ping Pang. (I'm not kidding, OK.) There are only two Chinese teachers though. Far fewer classes in Chinese. So now I will be rooming with Snow, and she's very nice and doing her absolute able best to speak English and not doing too badly, I say, but here are the things about which I'm freaking out:

1. It's an actual apartment surrounded by other actual apartments, crowded, trash bags on the streets, and visions of rats and roaches dance in my head.

2. Snow OF COURSE takes her shoes off upon entry which means now I am too. I wasn't exactly given an option. Here, you can use these slippers, was more like what I was given. Well, my shoes are going to take up the whole entryway, friends.

(by the way, my bitter side is rearing its head tonight for the first time so take everything in this post with a very large grain of salt, please)

3. The stove top was covered with food bits and crumbs! Ack! Rats, roaches, what on earth can she be thinking!!!

4. We don't have hot water yet. (John warned me about this: we have to buy oil for the water heater) Until then, we can take a cold shower (yikes) or boil water and wash with it from a wash basin. That's fine--I don't mind the option. But Snow was like, "Use this basin. Boil water." I said, "OR I might take a cold shower." She said, "But it's cold." I can see we don't agree on this one. Girlfriend, no one is taking my shower privilege away!!! Got it?
When I talked with John it was "not-if-but-when" we'd get the oil for the water heater. It was funny because he reminded me it costs money and I said, "Hello, I came from New England where there are like the coldest winters ever" and the three Canadians piped up, "I don't think so!" especially Mr Winnipeg who lives in the middle of a vast frigid landscape...I said, "Wow, that's really funny, I'm surrounded by Canadians, I totally don't have the worst winters anymore." And we laughed. I said, "I should call all my friends back home and say, 'Quit your bitchin'..." and one Canadian teacher said, mock imitating what I'd say, "Yeah, it could be worse, you could be surrounded by Canadians..." and it was funny and we laughed some more.
BUT Snow is not at all interested in a hot shower. So I guess the oil is going to be all me.

5. The kitchen is just gross. That's fine; I probably won't spend much time there. But the refrigerator is all small and bogue, and the stove top - ay dios mio! - and I'm just like OK we take our shoes off so the floors stay all pretty everywhere but what about hip level? Or eye level?

6. ... I guess that's enough venting for now.

One silver lining, there is something Buddhist next door, so that's fun. I know because I saw on the building right next door (and I do mean right next door, these are PILED on top of each other) the Korean buddhism symbol, which looks exactly like a reversed swastika. A little strange, but what can you do.

I'm going to go try to readjust my attitude. I don't even know where I am. My last place was served by six or eight bus lines. Now we have ONE.

No comments: