Happy 2012

Oh ni hao baby, ni hao! Happy New Year to you all. I took a little hiatus while back in the States, it being a crazy and hectic enough time as it was without having to write about it. It was beautiful to be home, I had some amazing meals, met my newborn baby niece, saw as many people as humanly possible, and managed to get my business visa with no hassle. It was a very productive two weeks and I didn’t cook once, unless you count helping Sawyer make a salad one night.

I’m back in Beijing and terribly jet lagged (11 pm you say? I just took a four hour nap? I just started making a pot of chicken stock because I can’t go back to sleep?) and already ridiculous things are happening. I was fast asleep last night when I was abruptly awoken at 3 AM by the urgent ringing of the doorbell. All out of sorts and groggy, I reluctantly stumbled to the door, in my pajamas, hair mussed up, not even bothering with the lights. En route, I discovered, with my feet, the presence of an inch-deep flood of icy water. Making sounds of distress, I answered the door–that had been ringing insistently this entire time. Several Chinese men wearing security jackets–I assume they are the security and maintenance crew of the complex, stood peering through my doorway. I opened the door and backed up, allowing them room to come in, but they hesitated and asked for permission to enter. I think that the befuddled expression on my face and the flood should have been permission enough.

They were all frantic and shouting and got straight to work lifting up furniture, rolling up the carpet. I could only find one dinky little mop and some hand towels so then I had 8 very frenetic Chinese men mopping up with hand towels and one enterprising guard found a large piece of cardboard with which he was sweeping the water into the bathroom (which later posed a difficulty when I really had to pee but the bathroom was dirty and gross and covered in dirty ice water). The whole episode took about half an hour and then just as abruptly they were all gone, leaving with the sage advice not to put the carpet back down until the floor was completely dry.

Oh China. And of course I couldn’t go back to sleep after that so I ate soup and watched Amelie. Once it got to be a reasonable hour, I ventured out to get to my kindergarten class, and discovered evidence of the entire hallway and entrance way having been flooded, and sandbags all over. Apparently a pipe or something burst the floor above.

At least I have a justification for my 4 hour nap tonight? Bleh.

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