Thursday, May 10, 2007

Apartment Troubles

Oh China, why must you always be so sketchy? I try to do everything on the up and up here - communist countries entail mounds of paperwork, and any detail out of place can result i delays or impasse. But even though I went through a real estate broker, my apartment is sketchy somehow. When I registered with the local police (and today, when a repairman came to fix the fuse that had blown) I was told by my agent I should say this is a friend's apartment, and not that I've rented it.

Sigh. I have a signed contract, and I went through the proper channels, and yet, somehow, I still have a sketchy apartment. That's China for you. If anything happens, I'll deny any knowledge of impropriety. My best guess, though, is that my landlord's dan wei (work unit) probably gave him this apartment, and they don't want him to rent it.

I do feel bad for my real estate agent, as my landlord is permanently in Gansu (bumblefuck China) on business, so she has to handle any problems I have, including this latest electricty problem, and I'm not sure she's getting paid for it. Not that I could even help the situation - she would almost surely refuse any money from me. Chinese pizza guys even refuse tips (from Chinese pizza places - Dominoes people do - Yay capitalism!).

The electrical problem turned out to be simply that we had tripped the circuit breaker by plugging in the fan on wednesday night and lost power to half the outlets. This should have been a simple matter of re-flipping the switch, but the switch is in a locked box that I lack a key to. The repairman came, but claimed he couldn't break the lock without the owner's permission. Eventually my agent showed up with some dude in tow who simply put a metal bar into the loop of the lock and pushed, and it opened. Seems easier that opening a Kryptonite bike lock with a bic pen!

Electricity is back, and as I write I'm watching the Taiwanese parliament have a brawl - I seem to recall this isn't the first time I've watched a similar scene there. On the one hand I wonder why their government is so crazy - but then I think it would be pretty cool to see our senators go at it every once in a while.

Now my only problem is that Gmail is down. . . Always something. . .

1 comment:

davinmama said...

Oh hell yeah! Go Taiwan!!!