Wednesday, 19 February 2014

In celebration of a place i love #3: Day to day life

Continuing on with my Chinese posts...

So I came across a couple of emails explaining different aspects of day to day life in China. This generally meant that something seemingly 'simple' was inevitably the complete oppositte. Washing yourself and washing your clothes ranked highly! They still tickle me now.

Clothes washing (when out of town one time):
'Weather has turned crappy again, so I have gone from shorts to full thermals and woolies! 

There's so much pollution from the cars (the word unleaded is not even known) and coal here that my chest is dying. In addition I have inground dirt in my nails, hands and ankles and all my clothes are a dull shade of grey now. Delightful!

The only way of cleaning my clothes is the hotels crappy twin tub thing. The delightfully helpful contraction plays jingle bells as it works and you have to fill and empty with water yourself.  Come to think of it, it doesnt even rinse the clothes,  so technically I'm hand washing everything to a dodgy Christmas tunes! Brilliant!

To make things even better, our shower nevers runs with hot water, and being on the 4th floor I wouldnt even say that the water kind of dribbles (and slowly). You can imagine how great I look right now! The head scarfs are definately coming in handy.'


' giving up showering forever! Its just too much hassle, even when there is water - unlike today!

To explain the ritual it goes something like this. First I get down as little clothing as I can bear in the bedroom (the only room in the flat with any form of heating ed. in the winter the weather would get as cold as the UK with no central heating. Brrrrr!) and brave myself for the experience to some.

So then I sprint from the bedroom to the bathroom where I don the bathroom flip flops (plastic) and turn on the cold water tap/pipe which is FREEZING.
The bathroom made marginally less grim 'cheered up' by me with a few acrylic paints I had with me

Next I run shuffle at top speed (slippers are way too big) into the kitchen, swapping bathroom slippers for house slippers (woolly ones) to turn on the gas cylinder and ignite the water heater system.
The Kitchen...not much I can say about that really!

Then I shuffle back to the bathroom (swapping slippers) to check the temperature of the shower. If its too hot or cold its back to the kitchen (changing slippers on the way - natch!) to adjust. And no you cant leave it on the same setting as it changes according to water pressure and the wind it would seem!

So back and forth I go until I finally leap into the shower hoping  that the water pressure doesn't drop, kicking off the gas (leaving you mid shampoo having to sprint back to the kitchen to restart everything). Oh the fun!

Just to show that my flat did at times look a tad friendlier...
pic 1. A summer shot of my flat looking marginally more friendly (my balcony was quite a nice - if dusty - sun trap) 
pic 2. With my adpotive mother, her daughter and my friend Martin during the winter 
pic. 3 Sharing a home cooked meal with some of my students (cooking with/for the teacher was a very motivating prize apparently! I learnt all the Chinese cooking I know from these meals - there were many. Lots of fun all round). Note the head scarf - they were my perpetual friends in China!


  1. I still to this day don't know how you did it - balls of steel!

    1. Lol! I would totally do it again actually given half the chance. Phil wouldn't though. If we go overseas again I've been told we must have at least access to broadband. Maybe there's a loophole/wiggle room in that though!


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