The Cold, The Damp, The Dreary
The rain and the cold weather began on Sunday and hasn’t let up. It’s miserable. The caulk on the bedroom window helped slightly, but I’ve only got a small space heater/tower fan – not enough to warm up the living room, let alone the whole apartment. I was told that my wall unit A/Cs could also blow warm air. Well, not quite. One does – the one in the office. NOT the one in my bedroom. I seriously considered moving my bed into the office. I still might…..
And I discovered more leaks. There’s also a big gap around the large window behind the washer. I had imagined that the guy would look at ALL my windows while he was here last Sunday. But he didn’t. And since he came so late, and I had to leave for my parents’ meeting, I didn’t insist that he check. So now I get to wait again. I’ve known about the large gap under the office door leading to the porch. I was hoping that it wouldn’t be a problem, but at 2cm, even with the porch windows closed, it’s letting cold air in. I found a door sweep on Taobao and am ordering it. Not sure how I’ll get it installed though.
When N and I were at the mall last week, we had looked at space heaters. There as a nice sized radiator style one for 300Y. At the time I’d thought that there’d be time to go back and get it. Now I need to go back and get it, but I’m hoping it will stop raining. I’d rather have snow than cold miserable rain. At least I now have my big folding umbrella from home. I had my brother send it to me. The $20 postage was well spent! Now I just need rainboots. I don’t like having damp feet, especially with this cold weather. I saw some over at the street market, but I really don’t want to walk there in the rain.
I did manage to get a hot water bottle at the little shop outside the back gate. It’s great! Especially since the warmest my apartment has been all week is 66 degrees. Even though it’s been mostly in the 50s all week outside, inside it feels as chilly and uncomfortable as when it’s the 20s back home, with snow and ice outside, and the furnace just can’t keep up. My legs have been painful all week, my fingers are like icicles, and feet keep getting numb. As I write this I’m wearing long Janes, sweat pants, and jeans; an undershirt, long sleeve T, hoodie, and a fleece vest; with the hot water bottle on my lap, and icy fingers and toes.
At the beginning of the week my student B brought me my 1T hard drive. Apparently he’s an entrepreneur and can get things cheaply through his connections. Another teacher had recommended that I ask him, since I haven’t been able to find one in the stores. He’s efficient! I asked him last Friday and he brought it to class on Monday. Only 400Y – under the retail price of 450Y.
Then I was able to borrow D’s hard drive and copy a bunch of movies and some TV shows. I’ve now seen the first season of Breaking Bad. Next, I’ll be getting some shows from T, including every Twilight Zone episode.
(I have been trying to watch Chinese TV and movies to help me with learning Mandarin, but even with Carol’s help I can’t get the TV to work.)
On Monday mornings I don’t teach in my own classroom, which has two A/C / heaters. Instead I go down the hall to my students’ home room, which has NO heat! My students and I were all wearing our coats.
Of course this week was Thanksgiving. None of the three other Americans here at school (all guys) were interested in celebrating. So I explained it to my students and had them write out what they were thankful for. Some of their answers were very similar – I didn’t find out until the third class that a teacher last year had done the same assignment! Oh well, the cold miserable weather kind of made it feel like Thanksgiving at least. I followed an old Jewish tradition and had Chinese food!! Then I treated myself to a microwave lava cake.
In the evening there was a guest speaker on campus from Australia. I attended and learned quite a bit. I’ve been thinking of going there for my February holiday. I also got some great handouts for my students who want to study abroad there.
Finally Sunday was sunny and warm! I opened all the blinds to let in the sunshine. I did some cleaning and washed my sheet. Then in the afternoon I finally went to Nancheng (the combo grocery store – like Target) to get food and a few other things. I got a couple of blankets and a pair of rubber rain shoes. Oh, and some bins to sort and store my socks and undies.