I need to come clean

So, let us talk a bit about hygiene today. China is a very two-sided country to live in with regards to this. On the one hand, no one will put bags on the ground and restaurant staff will be quick to bring you something to put your bag in or on. Furthermore, once you drop something on the table it is deemed to be lost. Contaminated and poisoned for only the bravest to pick up. And of course food preparation itself is something that is under increased scrutiny these years, to make sure no mice, cockroaches or other foreign object…

Nothing to be done pt. 4

“When are you coming around?” Something I am not saying to anyone I would like to actually come, but my (un)trusty repairmen of course. “Do you know if your neighbors are home?” Surely one of the most logical responses to that question ever. Sidenote, no I do not know if they are home. So after a few messages on WeChat, setting a date and then not coming, setting a new date and still not coming, setting a final date and somehow showing up it was fixed. What was funny though, is that my contact person of the housing agency sent…

Hush, hush, hush

Peace and quiet. Two things people definitely do not come to China for. The whole environment here is just plain noisy. From people to pets, from cars to cicadas there is always something happening and you can hear it. I live in a ‘traditional’ 6-story building in Shanghai and there is always some pipes making a noise, or the airco outside, or my neighbors getting up at 7 to dance to very loud music. In Shanghai, it is prohibited to honk for the greater part of the city center, but in Beijing that is definitely not the case. The symphony…

Nothing to be done pt. 3

So being a good tenant, I took the advice of my housing agency and just started up my washing machine. Not even 30 minutes passed when I heard some familiar tapping on the door and saw the same face in a state that combined anger with frustration and a touch of sadness. “You are using your washing machine!” It sounded as if I had started a war with my unknown neighbors below.  I started explaining that I was just following advice I had gotten, but he started to mumble and walk around as if he could just take up my…

Nothing to be done pt. 2

“Well,” I said to him “I am only renting this place so I will talk to the housing agency and let them get back to you.” The guy stared at me blankly and replied gruffly: “Who are you renting this from?” I told him my agency’s name and he gave no sign of recognition at all. “Give me your landlord’s number, I will contact him directly.” At this point I started to get a bit fed up with him. Mind you, it was not even 7.30 and I still had no leaking problem in my house. I think we went…

Nothing to be done pt. 1

*BOOM BOOM BOOM* I took a look at my phone. It was 6:50. Also, my alarm did not sound like a cannon. I tried to picture myself sleeping and dreaming that sound, but it was a little bit too real. *BOOM BOOM BOOM* “Hello anybwody hwome? Wopen de doowr!” Note: this is not too make the person sound drunk, rather it was quite a heavy Shanghainese accent and I was not being very diligent in my listening. Why was this person so confident that people are happy to open their doors at 6:50 for strangers? Now it happens to be…

We take your time

So time is money and it is often said that there is nothing more valuable than time. At the same time, we spend too much of our day on the phone, behind screens and with way too many triggers that ask our attention. Well, I have the perfect solution for you to relive a feeling of utter boredom and frustration. It is called: waiting. Specifically at many official or large institutions. Think of governmental organisations, banks, hospitals, mobile providers etc. The wonderful thing in China is, you can do this on the weekends, in your own time. Although, I would…