Caitlin is a silly girl

The other day, Caitlin and I were cleaning her apartment, working our way through her dirty kitchen.  I was cleaning the stove diligently, and she was cleaning the pipes.  Well, that lasted a few seconds.

She let out a shriek and leaped off the stool, nearly curling up into the fetal position.  I bet she would have if the floor weren’t so dirty.  She pointed at the pipe and made me look.  I found this:

Of course, that picture didn’t come easily.  She wanted it to blog, but she didn’t want to have to look at the thing.  I wanted her to blog about it, but I didn’t want to have to clean my horrendously greasy hands to take a picture, then get them all greasy again.  She refused to take the picture, eventually leading to a heap of shuddering fright and depression curled up on the bed.

A little while later, I took the photo.

EDIT: Caitlin’s friend Sam just saw it and said, “I can’t believe something came into your kitchen and died because it was so dirty.”

Apartment of horrors: Moving Day

Last week I finally moved into my apartment, and hilarity ensued. ICYC, it’s the one all the way at the far end, second from the top.

The first day I moved in, I cleverly enticed my friends Dave and Ellenor into helping me move my things into the apartment. Having bought way too many books before moving, I immediately regretted living in a sixth-floor walk-up. My landlord came over and helped me get my locks switched, after which he showed me how to use the laundry machine. Then I went shopping with my friend for cleaning supplies, as my apartment looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in about ten years.

Some time while I was out, I got a text message from my landlord that translates to “I haven’t been living in the apartment continuously, so please don’t flush the toilet before going out, so as to avoid a water disaster in your apartment.” Needless to say I was a little put off.

When I finally returned home, it was well after dark. I’m pretty independent, so the idea of living alone hasn’t bothered me much, but I have to admit I was a little creeped out to spend my first night alone in a new place. It didn’t help matters when I opened the door, groped around for the light cord, finally got the lights on and saw little cockroaches scattering under the fridge.

On a side note, the toilet still has not flooded the apartment, but the laundry machine usually does.

Terribly spooked by my roaches, I turned all the lights on in the apartment, ran to my bed, turned the TV on and cowered in the middle where I figured roaches wouldn’t get me. Now, one delightful thing about renting in China is that electricity is pre-paid. Of course, my landlord hadn’t prepaid very much for me. Just as I was beginning to feel more secure about the roach situation, and was enjoying the Olympic gymnasts soothing flips on TV, all my power suddenly went out.

Now I was really upset. Afraid of the bugs, I slid into my sleeping bag for protection and listened to my ipod, but really didn’t sleep most of the night on account of the paranoia and lack of air conditioning. The next morning I took a cold shower before going out to purchase electricity.

It was a rough start to what has been tempestuous relationship.

Engrish of the Week: 4, Mongolia Special Edition

As you may have heard, due to the Olympics authorities in Beijing have been cleaning up a lot of the really bad Engrish. However, their iron grip of logic, grammar and spelling has not quite reached Inner Mongolia.

A sign in the train lavatory:

The sign at the top of the gondola out to the sand dunes:

Perhaps the best Engrish I’ve ever seen:

Ok, technically this isn’t Engrish, since the Chinese and English match up. But it’s creepy as hell in both languages, so I’m posting it anyway.

Engrish of the week: 1

In preparation for the upcoming Olympics, almost everything in central Beijing is written in both Chinese and some form of language that uses English letters. Here is this week’s failure to use those English letters to actually make an English phrase.

I’m not sure I could “blpck” access if I even knew what it was.

NLB’s cute boy of the week: 1

As a special tribute to a dear friend, I have promised to post at least one cute Chinese guy’s picture per week. Seeing as it’s been a week, and I hadn’t even attempted to fulfill this promise, today was spent in a very paparazzi-like manner. Admittedly, this picture isn’t the best, but I have more on various friends’ cameras, as this was a popular assignment to take on for the day. Enjoy!

My first drink at a bar, EVER!

As many of you know, I am 20 years old, which means that in America, I always get left behind when friends go out to drinking establishments, taverns, pubs, clubs, bars and so on. However, China either does not have a definite drinking age, or it just doesn’t really enforce it, especially not for white people.

Seeing as it was 4th of July, a few friends and I went out to a bar in Houhai, which is full of ex-pat bars. Below is my first drink at a bar, ever!

It was a Pink Lady, and it was poorly mixed. It was also American-priced, which after spending about 15 kuai a day ($2 USD) was a huge shock!

A play-by-play of the night can be seen here.