more blah

Publié le par chrislzh

Alright, so we're back. In fact, we've been back for three nights and two days now. I just haven't had a decent night's sleep since the 29th.

Quick note: All dates in this post are by the lunar calendar unless the word solar appears in brackets after the date. To convert back to the solar calendar, remember today (when I'm writing this) is the 23rd by the solar calendar or chu 6 by the lunar calendar, then do your own maths.

So, no decent sleep since the 29th by the lunar calendar. See, the dogs have developed this really annoying habit of barking at nothing at least once each night, waking everybody up. Then Ma and Ba get up really early in the morning, stopping me catching up on sleep lost to the dogs' insane noisiness. And of course, with all the bainian'ing that goes on over Spring Festival out in the countryside where things are still traditional, trying to get a nap during the day was impossible. And then, on the last night we were in the village, a cousin visited with her man and their six month old boy. Because the kang was the only warm place to sleep, they weren't going back to the county town where they live (they were stopping over on the way to her father's place up Zhangjiakou way), and I was the only one who remembered that an electric blanket has been found to warm up the bed in the other room, and I decided I'd really be pushing it if I started issuing orders, six adults and the baby piled onto the kang that last night. Of course, the baby did what all six month old babies do and woke us all up at least twice that night.

Anyway, the stupid bureaucrats at lzh's university who are responisble (or irresponisble, as would seem to be the case) for stamping a particular document she needs so she can wade through more red tape and eventually get a formal contract at her danwei (don't ask, I'm having a hard enough time keeping up with all this as it is, and the bureaucracy involved seems absurd even by China's formidable standards) weren't there when she went to get her stamp before the holiday, but they had left a note on the door saying they'd be back on chu 4. Or the 21st (solar). Actually, I don't know what the note said, I just never heard lzh say they'd be there on the 21st (solar) until we got back on chu 3. Actually, I hadn't heard any date by the solar calendar from the 29th, when we went to the village, until chu 3, when we came back to Beijing. That's why I'm sticking with lunar dates in this post.

So, these bureaucrats: Their note said they'd be back on chu 4, and because lzh got an extra couple of days off before the holiday, we decided to go up on the 29th and come back on chu 3 so she could get this stamp as early as possible so she can get a formal contract as early as possible. So that's what we did. Turns out the bastards couldn't be arsed showing up for work as promised, of course. She went there on chu 4, hung around the whole day hoping they'd show up, but obviously they had other ideas and doing their jobs as promised wasn't high on their list of priorities. Yesterday she just phoned every half hour or so to see if they'd shown up, save her the hassle of travelling all the way out there only to discover an empty office with that same note taunting her. Of course, only a fax machine answered. And because today is a Friday, there's probably no point in even bothering to phone.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate bureaucrats?

So, anyway, we're back. It's really quiet around here. Sure, there's lots of fireworks, as usual, but unlike others, I'm not going to complain about the noise. Really. Get hard and go to Hunan. Changsha was the best introduction to China's love of explosives possible. Honestly. So Beijing's rather pathetic attempt to impersonate a war zone really doesn't bother me. But it's really, really quiet around here. Apart from the cleaner and the door guy, all the other staff, foreign and otherwise, and the students are still off on holiday. I suppose there'll be a bit more life around the place on Monday, but I'm not expecting any real noise until March, which seems to be about a week off (I'm still getting my mind adjusted back to the solar calendar). But even though we're back and not being constantly woken up by dogs barking at nothing or babies crying and there's still plenty of time before this place will start to get noisy again, I still can't get a decent night's sleep. Most irritating. I should be using all this spare time to get back into studying Chinese and going to the gym and other good things, or at least just getting out and about, but I really don't have the energy.

And yes, there are better things I've been meaning to write about for a while, but this lack of energy has stopped me even attempting to write anything more than this rubbish. Sorry.


Publié dans chrislzh

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