Tuesday, December 26, 2006


First up here's a great blog post about christmas in China, from the 'far better China blog than mine' Adventures of the Humanaught

And now, on with our irregularly scheduled programming:

My first christmas in China was a cocktail of:
  • Beer and Fried Chicken with Anshan's American/Cameroonian community
  • Lasagne
  • Haggis
  • A wet bed
Yep, courtesy of Lucas, I am now the proud owner of a can of Scotland's finest tinned haggis:


Apparently Lucas swore to his mother that it would come in handy here in China, and couldn't face the thought of her seeing him unpack it when he returns to the US next week. We decided it should be passed on to some other lucky English Language Teacher when I leave. We have started a Chinese Canned Haggis gifting tradition.

Returning to my apartment later in the evening, I discovered a less welcome gift, courtesy of Chinese plumbing. A pipe in the ceiling of my apartment had burst, a pipe that just so happened to be directly above my bed. After stripping back my sodden sheets, I discovered that my lower most mattress, that sits on the plywood bed base, was reasonably dry.

Upon this mattress is writ: "Extra firm steel springs for strong and firm body support" Basically its a quilted slab of granite (it also says "Fashion Peality and Fashion Beauty" and, for no discernible reason, "email" and "www.com"). So my bed last night was that, a sleeping bag, and my living room floor (or as I like to call it now "the room that isn't full of water of unknown cleanliness and origin").

This tale has a happy epilogue: This morning I was awoken by workmen coming to inspect my pipes for imminent explosion (which was well timed because the entire left side of my torso had gone numb, half an hours more sleep on that mattress and I might've lost a limb). They insisted that I leave my keys with them so they could lock up afterwards, promising to leave them in the security office. When I returned from class that morning, under-dressed for the barrage of snow that had showed up a day late, the security office was locked and my keys nowhere to be found, so instead of lunch I got to stand around in the snow cursing under my breath and fighting to keep starvation, exhaustion and hypothermia at bay (not to mention a severe outbreak of melodrama).

So there you go folks, my christmas gift to you is a happy heaping helping of schadenfreude.

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