Monday, 8/19/13, The Day of the Spiderman!

Fun stuff today!  I’ve got a long list of “fixes” for our apartment.  Lisa, our housing agent is back in town, and she’s going to be helping with the language issues.  She’s sort of a liason between BISS, the owner of the apartment, and us.  It can be a tough balancing act, as I find out today.

I call her around 9:00.  She has the cable guy here by 11:00, and he’s gone by 11:15.  Cable TV for English is four channels, CNN, Star Movies, HBO, and ESPN, and costs $5 monthly.  Everything is working but nothing is showing on ESPN.  I’m curious to see if anything ever comes on.

Lisa arrives at noon and checks out the rest of my list.  Bathroom mirrors are “taped” up, like they were glued up, held in place with tape, and the tape was never pulled off.  Bathroom door handle pulls off, and several others are loose.  She calls a apartment management, and they send someone over.  He fixes the door handles, and checks out the mirrors, deciding it’s safe to pull off the tape.  Of course, there’s nothing quite like “old” tape residue, so some fun lies ahead.

One of our air-conditioners isn’t cooling and needs freon.  She contacts an AC guy.  He arrives and can’t figure out how to get to the unit to load the freon.  There are no access panels anywhere.  Lisa checks with UHN, and finds out that someone has to “spiderman” out on a ledge, recharge the freon, and climb back in.  30 minutes later, the UHN specialist shows up with a long strap, a freon tank, and a long hose and gauges.  He opens the window and screen, ties one end of the strap to his waist, and the other end to a rail inside the room, and climbs out.  He slides toward the unit on an 8-inch ledge, ties himself to the unit with the slack, hooks up the charging unit, and lights up a cigarette, balanced outside the 25th floor.  The freon recharge and acrobatics cost $50, paid by the apartment owner.  That was some free entertainment!

I hope this knot holds!

I hope this knot holds!

It's a looooooooong ways down!

It’s a looooooooong ways down!

Spiderman 3

He is exceedingly calm for 25 floors up!

He is exceedingly calm for 25 floors up!

Front door lock specialist (our front door won’t latch) is scheduled for 6:00.  Around 4:30, Lisa shows up with the owner of the apartment, two-year old daughter, and the owner’s father.  We talk (some language difficulty).  I end up showing them some family pictures, and playing my clarinet (I’m killing 1 ½ hrs).  I didn’t get to my card tricks.  Boy, did I miss an opportunity.

The lock specialist tells everyone he can’t fix the lock.  The deadbolts have been bent (they hung up a few times, and I might have tried to force the door closed anyway), He wants to install a new one, which he just happens to have, and it’s only $500.  The owner isn’t eager to pay that much, and I think there is some discussion (in Chinese) about my financial responsibility in this matter.  The lock guy leaves, and we stand around trying to figure out the next step.  The owner’s father asks for my tools.  I’ve got screwdrivers, a small hammer, and some pliers.  We pull off the lock plate and start hammering and trying to flatten out the parts I might have bent.  By 8:30, the door is latching and everyone is able to leave, relieved that we’ve solved the problem.  The door doesn’t latch quite as smoothly as it did before, but we can live with it.

Judy had come in around 7:30 and moved into the bedroom to finish some schoolwork.  She had a long day of classes followed by a visit to the Passport Office to turn in the necessary paperwork for her Multiple Entry Z Visa.  She was bussed over after school and waited for two hours to get to the desk.  She had number 1387, but they were serving 1242.  Lots of sitting and twiddling of thumbs.

Taking a number at the Passport Office.  At the time, they were serving #1242.

Taking a number at the Passport Office. At the time, they were serving #1242.

She is ready to relax, but has several very pressing items to get in place for tomorrow.  I can even help with some of the “manual labor”.  Finally, around midnight, we sack it in.  We both finished our long lists.  Maybe tomorrow will be easier.

1 thought on “Monday, 8/19/13, The Day of the Spiderman!

  1. Thanks Mr. Hart for documenting your experiences! A lot of what you what you’re experiencing reminds me of my time in India. What a great adventure that y’all are having; thanks for sharing it!

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