Friday, August 26, 2011

My first experience with the auntie

This morning, at 10:30 AM, the building’s “auntie” and a repairman barged into my apartment. I don’t mean they knocked, or that I let them in. I was in my bedroom, getting ready, when I heard pounding on my door and someone trying to fit their keys in. I headed toward the door, thinking that maybe it was someone new who had just moved in and confused my door with the one next to it. Nope. “Auntie” and the repairman were just walking in my door – she had let herself in. Good thing I wasn’t changing or still sleeping or anything. No advance notice, just “auntie” barging into my apartment, heading toward the bathroom, and pointing at my hot water heater while speaking rapid Chinese. The repairman is working on it now, which is kind of a bummer because I had actually figured it out and now I’m concerned he’s going to ruin it. I am impressed that they got someone in to help me so quickly, though. Apparently that’s an issue in China.

Also, the caulk issue. I got the towels to put around the base of my shower in case it leaks. Apparently, that offends “auntie”. She spent at least three minutes pointing at my towels and talking to me in Chinese. I tried to mime “leaking”, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t work. Then, I heard her say, “mei guo ren” to the repairman, so I’m sure she thinks I’m an idiot. Then she used her shoes to feel if there was water on the floor. Uh, no, you walked in before I could take a shower, actually.

As of now, I’m still attempting to connect to the internet, and I’m pretty sure the repairman cut off all power in my apartment, because my computer stopped charging, even though it is plugged in.

The internet issue is frustrating because I can see that I am actually connected through Ethernet, with the green light and everything, but I can’t actually access any webpages. I think the problem is just that Mr. Zhuo’s router or whatever needs to be reset…at least that’s what the network diagnostics I ran on my computer says, and that’s always been my solution when we’ve had internet problems at home.

We’re trying to decide whether or not we want to buy a wireless router for our apartments. We all really want a wireless connection, but we’re not sure how we’re going to be able to set it up. I’ve set one up at my parents house, and I’m pretty good at fixing all of the problems with it…but, I’ve had instructions in English. I don’t know if I want to test my wireless router skills with an entirely Chinese instruction manual. Hopefully we can get Mr. Zhou to help us, but I’m not sure how he’ll feel about us getting wireless. My VPN also won’t connect over this network, which is annoying. It just constantly says that it’s looking for a connection. It’s not disconnected; it’s not connected. It is in VPN limbo.

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