Back in China

22 Aug

Revisiting Zhongshan – last time we were there was soon after arriving in Nanjing in winter 08 and we were all freezing… not so this time.

So, yes, we are FINALLY more or less settled into our new place and happy, but it took a while to get there!  In fact, it’s been quite an ordeal.

We arrived late at night on Thursday, August 12 (about 7am Vancouver time) and yet it was SO hot and humid still and we couldn’t turn on the air conditioners.  We also discovered that we could not unlock the room that had all our things stored.  We finally went to bed sometime around 3am after trying in vain to unlock it.  Milad’s bandaid from a day and a half  earlier (the night before our flight) was starting to come off and was completely off by morning.  His cut had not healed and was coming apart on top so we put a new bandaid and polysporin on it and went off to buy batteries for the air conditioner.

Well, even with the batteries they did not work.  On top of all that, Peiman’s phone battery was dead and my phone was out of money.  So I managed to call someone at the university to come see about our locked room and air conditioners and rode off to the phone place near our old house (1/2 hour ride) since I didn’t know of one closer.  There I talked to her for about 1 hour (since we had trouble communicating) about why my account was being charged for no use, about our plan, etc.  In the meantime, a lovely handyman came, got our conditioners to work (although only one had a proper remote that could adjust it and the others he had to go out and buy new remotes which is apparently a difficult task because it took about four days) and opened our room (by kicking it in more or less).

That’s when our fun really began.  It turns out that while we were gone, most of our clothes, shoes and other things got mold on them.  So we pretty much spent the next week washing all of our things – the only good thing was that we have a courtyard where Peiman put up many clothes lines and the hot weather dried each load in an hour or two.  So as long as we were home to remove the clothes whenever a rain storm showed up, we were pretty efficient.  All the while, we were also unable to set up internet and were trying to use other people’s wireless connections, which was not very reliable.

I also had to send my mother back a battery for my MD player which we picked up the day before we flew and later discovered was ordered incorrectly by the electronics company.  That was kind of funny too.  I went to a nearby post office to mail it only to be told I had to go to a big post office and was loosely given directions to get there.  Well, I kept riding and asking and people kept telling me to go further and further until I ended up in the middle of downtown, three subway stops away and about a 20 minute ride (in the boiling sun).  Actually, I almost ended up missing that post office and would’ve gone all the way to our old place (the only post office I knew) another two stops further.  But luckily the last woman giving me general directions realized that the place was right on the corner and told me so before I sped off down the street, passing it completely as it stood there on the other side of the street.  So I sent my battery and thought all was done.  Lo and behold, I found the receipt for it a couple of hours later as I cleaned out my backpack (I didn’t actually remember having a receipt and there was an order number, etc. stapled to the battery container so I hadn’t worried about it).  So the next day (it was evening by then) I went again, just to send a receipt (this time by subway:)

Ben: Gotta love those newborn yawns!

I guess that about tells the “highlights” of our first ten days.  There were of course the real highlights!  Got to meet Sanjana and David’s sweet baby, Ben! He is just adorable and I loved holding him – he even fell asleep in my arms which is the best feeling ever.  I’ve really got soak it in since I won’t be having any more of my own.

Kaimi and Milad

We also met some new neighbours and Milad got a new playmate!  His name is Kaimi (Milad made his name into the Chinese version Kaiming, which by the way, was one of my early choices for my own Chinese name until I found out it was a boy’s name.  So I think it fits Kaimi quite well but of course he keeps correcting Milad).  They’ve become buddies overnight and Roya also had a friend for a while as his cousin, Isabela, 8, was visiting.

Roya, Isabela and Milad watching a video on the kids’ bunk bed.

Erika, you gotta love this – the girl’s name is Isabela and the mother’s is Erika!  Dad is Ken though.  Actually, those are not their real names (they are from Kyrgyzstan, which I just heard of for the first time and made me learn about a whole new area of the world, north of China when I thought all those countries were in the Middle East, and their names are impossible for the Chinese to pronounce).  So Roya had a fun few days with Isabela (they left to go back to their city in the north yesterday) and was sad when she left.  Soon, however, she’ll be making new friends in grade 1 which she will have lots of time to play with (hopefully).

Kaimi’s grand-father, aunt and little cousin and us.

We also hung out with them and their visiting grand-father and uncle, as well as Isabela’s whole family (she has a younger sister and a baby brother) and went to Fuzi Miao (Confucius Temple), which, although near to our first home, I never actually went into.  It was nice visiting with their whole family but I especially like Kaimi and his mom, Nurmira (I call her Nur), as our new neighbours.  Her husband, a Dutch-Canadian, will be coming in a few days so looking forward to meeting him.

Well, I guess that’s enough of an update for now.  Gotta sleep sometime too, you know (it’s 1 am – hey I guess that makes this my official birthday – cool! – and I have a long day of bureaucratic hassles coming up in a few short hours).

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3 Responses to “Back in China”

  1. Leah August 22, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    It’s about time you started up a blog! You’ve made my day. 🙂 I loved reading your updates and I hope life is going a little more smoothly for you now.

    Happy Birthday – even though it’s not officially your birthday here yet. Hope you have a wonderful day.

  2. Jarome August 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    Happy Birthday Klara!
    I guess your birthday present was making it through all that crazy stuff while moving. If it’s any consolation, we’ve been working on our place for 6 months and we still can’t move it!
    Life in China I guess, there is a much easier way to live here, I know it, i’m determined to find out how…

    • klarasadventures August 24, 2010 at 7:56 am #

      Let me know if you find an easier way! I am learning little by little but wouldn’t say things are easy… Hope you can move into your place soon!

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