The Sky is Falling!

The Sky is Falling!

Since November, contractors have been “renovating” the apartment upstairs. Here, renovation means making the unit livable– starting from just the bare concrete walls. No appliances, no toilets, no wiring. Yeah, seriously from scratch. So it’s been loud as hell– bulldozing, hammering, you name it. Fortunately, John and I avoided a good bit of the noise during the winter, when we went out to CA for his work in January. When we returned, it was back to the grind. Some days we think the noise has abated, but then the next day, we’re awoken at 7:30 am with a jackhammer.

If the unit upstairs were a typical apartment, we’d be outta the woods by now. But lucky for us, it’s the top floor and they have a double-floor apartment. Fuckers. They have a beautiful double-story patio/balcony too, and what do they do to fuck it up? Completely enclose it in glass (but not as cool as a greenhouse) AND put down a floor to split its height. Lame.

So the other day I came home from teaching, went into the study, and discovered a layer of white shit all over my books on the futon. Whaddaya know? The fuckers upstairs drilled a hole in my frickin’ ceiling! And we’re not talking flimsy materials either. Structures here are all concrete. They blasted a quarter-sized hole through about 8-10 inches of concrete. Unbelieveable.

So the last few weeks I’ve been dealing with having them fill the hole, sand, paint, etc. They are so lucky they didn’t hit a light fixture and have it crash on someone. And they are even luckier they didn’t ruin Bub’s cinema display. Of course how do I learn from this experience? By rearranging the study to move my desk right below where the accident happened. Yeah baby, livin’ on the edge. Bring it on!

Geez, I cannot believe it’s been so long since my last post. The weeks are just flying by. John came back to town on Sunday. The long-awaited reunion has already hit a few snags– I was getting used to living by myself. Of course, I’m so happy that he’s back, but we’ve been running around getting new computer equipment for his work and well, haggling for shit makes me cranky. What can I say. And on top of that, because so many things here are shit quality, sometimes you get screwed. For instance, the other day, we spent awhile shopping around for an HDD firewire-USB case. Finally found it, got it to the right price, brought it home, and the HDD didn’t fit inside. I was so pissed, I called them up and asked them what kind of business they were running. Then I demanded that they come replace it. Of course, they don’t do house calls, so that got me even more livid. Long story short, to fix the problem, we have to go in and return it. Another wasted trip for us.

I got so angry over this. And I have to admit here that I have anger displacement issues. You see, earlier that day while we were shopping around for this case, one guy quoted a price 4 times higher than what we got elsewhere. So I asked what brand it was, and he said it was Chinese. I then expressed surprise and disbelief that a Chinese case would cost so much. Then he said, “What, the Chinese can’t make good products? Just because it’s Chinese, the product can’t cost more? You’re Chinese too, you know.” What the fuck? Are you kidding me? First, there is no reason why an item that is native should cost DOUBLE what it was cost me to buy the item in the US and have it shipped here. Second, don’t give me this “you are Chinese” bullshit when you are clearly jacking up the price because you see my white-as-day husband. Third, maybe if the Chinese would spend a little more effect on quality control, the local-brand products could demand a higher price. Yes, all the international branded items are still made in China, but they undergo QC for crissakes! At the time, I just provided him with explanation #1. Then I was pissed at myself for not creating a scene. I mean, there’s no reason for me to tolerate that kind of bullshit. And for the record, I’m Chinese-American: US citizenship, asshole. Jesus, for once I wanted to frickin’ wear a goddamn flag pin!

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