The McGyver Alternative

Here I am, drinking a nice cup of coffee from an Italian roast, listening to a little soul music, just over a week before Christmas, and the weather is quite literally frightful.  I woke up this morning and I couldn’t see across the river; seeing this fog makes me want to stock up on canned food, grab a shotgun, and start looking around corners for zombies.  I haven’t seen the sun in days, probably closer to weeks.

This isn’t bad, but it sure has effected peoples moods.  My students weren’t really into anything I taught these last few classes, the people I’ve met have been a little more irritable, students are way less rowdy, and the other foreign teachers aren’t smiling as much.  I’m probably smiling a bit less, but I’ve been trying to keep myself happy.  Especially since thinking about Christmas has me completely distracted.  I tried to do some Chinese studying and all I could think about was Christmas dinner.

On the bright side, it’s gotten colder out here.  I’m actually wearing a jacket or a sweater when I go out, and it’s making me happy.  I like it cold.  Heck, when I go out for food I have students looking at me not because I’m a foreign teacher or a white guy, but because I can go out in the wind with only a t-shirt and jeans.  And some of them are running around in wool jackets, gloves, and a scarf.  The other foreign teachers are sporting three layers while I run around in one.  I even tried out a Korean restaurant the other night.

But, with the weather changing so has my method of cleaning my clothes.  It’s too wet in the air to dry them properly, so I’ve had to move the process inside.  But…my dorm doesn’t have the facilities for a ceiling chain.  I’ve asked for it to be put in, but it’s gonna take weeks.  So I decided to set one up for myself.

First I tried to attached some thin rope between two nails in the wall a little higher up than it is now.  Didn’t work.  Supported three shoes, two shirts, and one towel before collapsing.  When it collapsed it pulled out both nails.

Then, I tried a pair of adhesive hooks where the nails used to be and tied the same rope to them.  It collapsed after three socks and one shirt.  And it brought down both adhesive hooks with the layers of paint under the hooks.  So now I have couple of gaps in the paint on both walls.

Third time was not the charm.  The paint revealed a pair of screws in the cement.  Used my handy dandy multi-tool to unscrew em a bit and tied the rope around the screws.  This time the rope gave out after five socks, two jeans, and two shirts.  The rope broke, not the screws, still trying to figure that one out.

So on my forth try, things worked out.  For now.  I whipped out the twenty foot internet cable I brought with me.  I tied it around both nails and it has thus far held up.  Kinda worried that the screws might eventually cut into the cable enough to bring this fiasco down in the middle of the night.  It takes at least a day to dry my clothes.  Closer to two.

Gawd damn I am missing Christmas.

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