So it’s springtime in Shanghai, and the city is lovely. In the morning I grab a cab with some coworkers at Fuxing park, and drive through the tree-lined former French Concession… take the elevated freeway, which I’m sure was a community killer, but the views are great… and finally work all day in a new building next to a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking a river.
(My French friend C confronted me the other day, asking if it was true that Americans don’t say “lovely,” which I confirmed. The truth is that I do use the word once in a while, but not anything like the way British people use it)
Shanghai will turn into a furnace soon enough. I’ll enjoy it for now.
So I bought a combination bike lock in the US, brought it here, and can’t open it. The combo I remember setting is not opening. So yes, I started at zero and I’m trying every combination. I’m up to 2030.
My new housekeeper is going to work out. When I came home on Monday, the house was resplendent; she works 2 hours each on Mondays and Fridays; I pay less than two dollars an hour. That’s the price the agency named, I didn’t negotiate it.
My gas water heater, which lights a blue flame every time I turn on hot water… the ignition batteries burnt out. For two days I didn’t know what was going on; the housekeeper told me (through the office manager) that it was the ignition battery, but she didn’t know how to remove the panel. Neither did I, but after two days of boiling water on the stove, and mixing it with cold water in a bucket to take a bath, I wrestled the panel off and replaced the batteries. Yes, I know, I’m a hero.
There is karaoke coming up.
At the office, D worked out how to record an phone interview. I tested it with my mama over Skype. She, by the way, is knitting spit guards for the microphones, because we don’t know where to buy foam mic covers. Back home I would just go to American Music.
Today I found out about Picard, a language in France. I frustrated that either a) I studied it, but have no memory that this language even exists, or a) I managed to get a Master’s Degree in Romance Linguistics and they managed to not tell me about it. It sounds like it’s still pretty widely understood, but the lack of new native speakers makes it endangered.
Tonight I made a tortilla española. I haven’t cut into it yet, because it looks really good, and I want to bring it to work tomorrow. I made it in a Chinese non-stick flat-bottomed wok, and peanut oil. We’ll see.