Saturday, October 30, 2010


My apartment is in a long building.  The building has four entrances where each of the five floors only have two apartment doors.  There are a total of 40 apartments in the building.  I can only get to my apartment through one of the four entrances.  Each entrance opens up to a narrow concrete walkway and a brick wall.

The other night, I finished at the Tree House at 7 pm then went to dinner.  At 8 pm I arrived to the concrete walkway to find construction workers laying a fresh layer of rocky cement.  They said, "Come back tomorrow.  At 6 am you will be able to enter your apartment."

What?  What about now?  Where will I sleep?

I went to my sitemate's flat and spent a night in her guest room.  I got up at 5:30 am to return to my apartment, but no.  The construction workers had been working through the night and there was a fresh layer of the smoother cement laid.

I went to the university's garden and sat in the dark.  I went to the basketball courts and did Tai Chi.  I ate a sandwich for breakfast.  At 6:30 am I went to the playground and watched the students do two minutes worth of morning exercises before they all ran off to breakfast.  When the sun rose I returned to my apartment complex and waited to see what the other occupants of the complex would do about the wet cement.

My downstairs neighbor returned with two kettles of hot water and said, "Follow me."  I went through his first floor back porch, into his apartment and out a door that led to my stairwell.  Wish I had known that yesterday evening.  Could have slept in my own bed.

Deciding not to return till late afternoon because I wasn't sure if my downstairs neighbor would be around to let me into the building, I got ready for singing class, wore my PE clothes for Kung Fu class and packed my down vest full of money for a hot pot lunch with my Chinese tutors.  At 2:30 pm I returned to the newly laid walkway to find footprints imprinted all over the freshly dried cement.

1 comment:

universalibrarian said...

That's such a sad story. Your resilience and strength at facing crazy foreign stuff is admirable. One's own bed is a wonderful place.
Nice that you have a good neighbor.