Home > Uncategorized > Fewer bus rides, more roaches

Fewer bus rides, more roaches

Hey Everybody!
This week doesn’t feel particularly notable, but I realize that with my new much-anticipated location that it probably is.  I’ve been able now to stop worrying about unreliable shuttles, been able to stay in my office correcting largely plagiarized summaries from first year classes until after dark, and have visited mustachioed-tomato-clad Mr. Pizza without pleas for a ride home.

The room in Yan Hua Yuan is at the top of four flights of stairs (no elevator, but Chris and Zander helped me carry my bags). There’s a balcony for drying handwashed clothes, ample shelf-space for displaying “my” books (probably 1 of them isn’t borrowed), my Hong Kong chess set, and the hand-waving, good-fortune cat I procured in Gong Bei. There’s a pipe that carries the water out of my sink and into the plumbing rather than a tube draining onto the floor and down the shower drain like in the other girls’ rooms. There’s an air-conditioner that doesn’t sound like breaking glass every time I turn it on. There are also three beds bolted to the wall, three desks, and three wardrobes stuffed into the tiny room with me and the family of cockroaches that lives behind my cabinet (they get bigger and bigger every time I walk into my bathroom, but not yet as big as that one that died in the middle of my floor at Metro Agile). There’s a lights-out/curfew at 23:30 for the students and I can only imagine how unpleasant it must be when those rooms are at capacity. The unnaturally loud stomping sounds that come from the hallway at 23:15 are bad enough.

Now, however, I am close to work, I am close to the city, and I’m close to the rest of the crew. Now I don’t have to answer the question “have you moved yet?” every time I talk to a professor in the English Language Center.

I have acquired a pretty bad cold due to the relaxation accompanying my tremendous relief. I’m fighting it a Lipton tea called “Iron Buddha.”  I was also planning to fight it with sleep, skipping a Friday night out to curl up with a book–but the hopes of sleep were dashed when I foolishly chose “The Kite Runner” as my curl-up book of choice.  I finished it at about 1:30am and had to lie there listening to Michael Palin‘s “Full Circle” travel diary again until I had unwound from the read.

Still, however, I’m making the customary Saturday afternoon bus ride to San Xiang. Tammy, one of our Chinese former shuttle-mates, decided to choose the weekend after we’d all moved away to throw a housewarming party. She said there would be fried octopus. I have a really hard time turning down fried octopus. So rather than sit in my office typing away all of Saturday, or sitting in my musty room coughing, I’m going to go buy some roach killer and air freshener back in my old quaint little town and swing by my favorite Sichuan noodle place to get beautiful-sinus clearing soup!
Hope none of you are under the weather!  Take care of yourselves.  Keep in touch.
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