Happy New Year!

It’s new year! Chinese New Year, you dufus! I wouldn’t roll out a new year’s post this late. But hey, it’s not too late for me to blog about the firework display. Even though fireworks are an awful, awful subject to write about. Anyway, it starts off with me in bed. I’m not asleep, just enjoyin’ mah mancave. Wishing the bloody fireworks would pipe down.

They don’t. Instead, mum pipes up and starts yelling at me to come and look at the fireworks. Because she can see them from the balcony. So I rush out –did I mention that I’m in my undies and a t-shirt at this point?– and look. Predictably, there’s condensation on the windows and I can’t see much, but I get a glimpse.

Next, I go back to my f*cking room to (hopefully) get some f*cking peace and quiet. No such luck. I am soon called to mum’s room, where, for whatever reason, the windows are fine and I can see the fireworks. They’re pretty, mainly the classic colours of red, green and yellow but with some white and blue in there too.

Then I go back to my room and observe the fireworks from there. Good god, this was an awful topic for mum to give me. I wonder if she’s written one on the subject…

How I Crashed a Tank

Yes, I’m already rolling out a new post. Yes, it was just a near-seizure. You can guess the driving factors behind this post. So, without further fuc mucking about, let’s begin. A few days ago, mum and I went to the Harbin ice festival. It’s on the river (which is, obviously, frozen at this time of year) and is generally fun. To begin with, we did… well, zilch. Then we went off and had lunch.

Ahh, lunch. Mmm. Part one: Operation Lunch. :D First stop: rbt. This is some random and expensive cafe nobody’s ever heard of. It has cool benches, which are swings, but… the food is overpriced and unremarkable. Next: the Parkson mall’s food court. It’s exactly what it sounds like, really. But it’s cheap, the food is tasty, and it’s close by. So ends part one. And yes, I did use an entire paragraph. UMAD?

Part two: the Slide of Epic Lulz. We are back by the river, and mum is preparing to fork over 2£ for a single trip down an epic (it is revealed) slide. She forks it over. She hands over the ticket. The PLA dude (they have a big army) rips the ticket and hands it back. I go up the stairs. Incidentally, the stairs are made of ice. The entire slide is! They don’t call it the Ice Festival for nothing!

And then I’m at the top. And scared. Because I’ll be going down a large (and steep) ramp of ice in a rubber tube. I watch the first batch go down, then quickly grab a spot which looks gentle-ish. To give you a bit of perspective, at the time of writing I weighed around 32 kilograms. So, as I witnessed them shooting down, you can imagine what I felt like.

Actually, it was really fun. I shot down at breakneck speeds, only slightly worried as to whether I might flip over and break my nose. Then I had to lug it back up a ramp. A ramp made of ICE, no less. :( It had footholds, but it was still really hard. Especially when I slipped, fell over and dropped my tube, which went down the ramp until it collided with someone, nearly knocking them over.

Part three: the Mighty Tank! Yes, we finally get to the tank! You see, when we scouted out the place (before lunch), we (or rather I) spotted some form of tank over by one of the slides. And, after I finally got my frigging tube up, I headed over there with mum. We are unpleasantly surprised, as all the tanks are covered in tarp.

Thankfully, they’re not closed. The guy starts one up. I get in. Chug chug chug… aaaand I’ve crashed the tank into the side of the course (also made of ice). Blam. I’m stuck. I get out and pathetically try to push the thing off the wall. I fail miserably. But I’ve learned my lesson: tanks are really hard to drive.

BTW, how do you like the cursor?

The Great Apartment Hunt

We have WiFi now! That’s right, WiFi in our apartment. To “celebrate”, I’m writing this post (nah, I celebrated with a full day of nothing) to chronicle our great hunt. First stop: Bomele 1931. That’s the coffee shop, BTW. Next: the office! Mr Ye’s office, to be precise. Mr Ye is the broker who’s broking us. That is what a broker does, right?

Whatever. I have a near-heart attack when I see the stairwell. It’s dark, smelly and, well, undesirable. Then I see the office and have a near-seizure. Then mum says “But… but someone’s living here, no?” and he replies “Yeah, this is the office.”. I narrowly avoid my seizure and wait for him to get the keys. The keys are got. We set off for the apartment.

And we get to the stairwell. Heart attack number two inbound. It’s exactly the same, but our flat is higher up. Up the stairs we trudge. We, who have done the EBC trek, so suddenly defeated by two laptops, a crappy tote bag and six smelly flights of stairs. We get to the apartment. And… no seizure! It’s rather nice. Not as nice as the one in Kunming, but… nice.

We decide to look at another flat. After half an hour — yes, thirty bloody minutes — of waiting, we give up on that one. Then we find another place with Mr. Ye. That one fails, too. I, desperately, try to and (to some degree) succeed in liking it. Mum doesn’t, and vetoes it. So we spend the night in an eighty yuan train station hotel with rats under my bed.

Well, noises under my bed. The bed is made from plywood boards rather than poles and is thus easier to sleep in than a bed with rats under it that you could see by sticking your head down. :( Morning comes, and I eagerly get the hell out of bed, get dressed and go to Bomele. Then we find one that we like. In case you were wondering, we couldn’t stay in the other one.

Why? Because they’d worked out that we were only staying for four months and that if we signed the one-year rental, we’d just bugger off and lose the deposit. Then I get another near-seizure. From happiness! Because we can stay there tonight, instead of having to stay at the fleapit! Oh joy of joys! And that, my friends, is how we got our apartment.

Next up: I Crash a Tank!