Zee gas has been hooked up in the apartment. It was pretty agonizing to get this fairly simply task done and it wasn’t until after I asked that someone informed me of the mistake I made. In schools, colleges, universities, and post secondary institutions there is a department set up that helps take care of the foreign teachers from ordering water to getting the gas set up. In Jiangmen Polytechnic, this department is called The English Department. Yeah, I know, pretty inventive. Anyways, the department should help me get my classes set up, my schedule worked out, the paper filed, and get my living conditions set up. But they didn’t. Have you ever been at a job where the previous guy was supposed to train his replacement? Yeah, that didn’t happen here.
This is a department of third year and grad students that specialize in the English language( and by specialize, I mean they have a vocabulary larger than the average yearly temperature round here) that are largely untrained. Some of them have worked as secretaries, but the people they replaced never trained them. Nothing gets done fast.
And the gas was no different. He was supposed to show up at 2:00 and like every plumber or cable guy you’ve ever met, he didn’t show up on time. In fact, he wasn’t even close. If he had a clock, it was probably on sidereal time and hidden in a locked vault on the Canary Islands. Funny how somethings don’t change wherever you go. But in the end, the gas is working so I have a stove top to cook on. Now I just need something to cook that isn’t instant noodles and soup.
Which brings me to problem number two. Simply put, it isn’t cost efficient for me to cook for myself here. Getting a plate of rice, some tofu, and maybe a mix of veggies and meat costs about 4.5 Yuan. That’s less than a dollar Canadian. Buying food for say a weeks for of food is the upwards of 50-70 Yuan. This is still staggeringly cheap compared to Canada, but compared to getting food on campus, its’ ridiculously more expensive. And I don’t have an oven to cook a chicken and then eat that for a week. Not to mention my fridge, which I pretty sure is daring me to try and put food inside. It’s got frost on the backside and it just waiting for me to put something in there so it can freeze it. My fridge might be out to get me. And while technology does have the home field advantage against me, I have a knife and tenth floor balcony from which things can be thrown.
Also, why would anyone ever make knock-off Oreo’s? Seriously, they weren’t that great to start and these fake ones are even worse. To give you an idea of what happened, there was a boatman in the river who, in the middle of the day, had his reverie interrupted as a package of fake Oreo’s landed in the water nearby him accompanied by the words “AND STAY OUT!”.