Saturday, May 3, 2008

My clothes are ruined

Some of them, anyway, the fabric coming undone after one rinse cycle in China's rough, unruly, forsaken washing machines. Then they went up on a clothesline, because there are no drying machines in China. My family couldn't tell me where to find one, anyway. The result is, if you walk by a dormitory like this one at Beihang (where Zhang Peng works), you're likely see a bunch of clothes at any given time hanging in the balcony (every apartment has to have one for this very reason).

So there you have it. One more thing I could take a while to get used to.

At the risk of sounding like a whiny, spoiled foreigner, here are a few more items that require an adjustment period:
  • Showers. The one in my apartment has only one hot-water setting, and the water that comes out is scalding. In order to turn it on, you have to first turn on the faucet in the kitchen, which activates the water heater. Then you turn on the shower and the faucet in the bathroom sink (don't ask me why). Then you go back out to the kitchen to turn off that faucet, and then the hot water will come out of the showerhead. To increase the water pressure, turn down the water from the bathroom sink -- but not all the way, otherwise the hot water shuts off. Oh, and open the kitchen window. "Carbon monoxide," Zhang Peng said.

    "Isn't that sort of a big deal?" I asked.

    "Yeah... there was reports of a few people dying of it just the other day."

  • Public toilets (already discussed).

  • Headed chicken. Though it's not so much the head as it is the organs. My dissecting of a mink in Mr. Meador's high school biology class taught me how to recognize mammalian kidneys and gall bladders, and I assure you, they're not edible. See if you can spot them in this picture:

    This is a minor complaint though. I've eaten a lot of chicken -- whole -- while here.
Hmm, I thought I'd be able to come up with more items than that. I don't watch TV at all, but that might be a good thing. Haven't gone to the movie theater yet, but that's probably a good thing too, since ticket prices are comparable to American movie ticket prices. Water? You can find it cold. I don't know... I really could get used to life out here.

1 comment:

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