…and back online!
The thing I hate most about moving, even more than the physics-defying process of packing and the bleach-burned skin from cleaning, is the re-setting up of Internet.
This move is the fifth place I’ve lived in China, and the fifth time I’ve had had to install, transfer or otherwise pray for a connection to the world outside. Generally speaking this involves an overly complicated call to China Telecom, the borrowing of all-involved parties’ ID cards (usually a collection of landlords, perhaps a boss and/or Maggie’s), and the scheduling of an appointment with some barely post-pubescent “technician” that comes and installs a bunch of what I’m convinced is spyware on my computer.
All of this is done for rather unstable sums of money that seem to rise and fall more than a time-lapse of a Viagra user.
The bit I hate the most is that kid at the end. I hate people touching my computer. I especially hate pseudo-competent people touching it. See, Maggie’s alright. I know she’ll never fuck things up on here because she doesn’t know enough to really mess with things. But when I need to explain to the guy messing with my settings four times that it’s running XP, it just looks like a Mac, I get nervous.
Regardless, I’m online now and I think I’ve (once again) removed all the crap Chinese software that they are required to install with each new setup or transfer.
Other people’s dirt…
The new apartment is great, especially now that we’ve finally got it cleaned up. See, the guys that lived here (though fantastically nice people) suffered a bit from the “guys-sharing-a-flat” syndrome. It’s nothing I can’t relate to, and in all honesty, I sometimes wonder if I’d clean at all if it wasn’t the passive-guilt laid on me by the wife.
However, it made for a rather dusty abode, not at all helped by the fact that the day we moved in was also the day the landlord rebuilt the shower – causing us to dodge a massive mix of concrete in the stairwell as we brought in our boxes.
But here we are, nearly a week later, and things are looking good. I’m not much for ‘show’, but I’m quite a bit happier to have this apartment to welcome the assemblage of guests we’ll be receiving in the next couple weeks. It’s not that this apartment is perfect, but it is warm, has ample seating, the fridge is in the kitchen not the living room, likewise the washing machine, and I’ve a nice big desk to whittle away my hours online at.
The people in your neighborhood…
This and I love living downtown. There is an “interesting” level to living in the heart of an ancient city that you just don’t get in the ‘burbs’. Right beside our apartment, just outside the gated-community, is on old hutong-like lane that looks like it hasn’t heard a word of the “changes and growth” that China is experiencing.
Not a major thru-way, but rather just a small alley providing access to the canal-hugging cheap-housing common in Suzhou, we don’t get bogged down with horns or traffic sounds. At most points during the day there is just an ambient chorus of voices chatting neighborly as they hang clothes, wash vegetables, or whatnot. Standing at the window and just listening to the locals going about their day-to-day is quickly becoming my new past-time.
Or it was until I got the Internet back.