A week and a half has passed since we scraped patches of mold off our bedroom ceiling and wall and since the expat village’s property management workers provided a temporary fix to our upstairs neighbor’s faulty AC/heating unit. It was supposed to stop the leak in the unit and thus in our bedroom (which had caused the mold in the first place) until the workers could come back and provide a more permanent solution. And it did for several days…until Friday night when we were tucked in our bed, reading our kindles, ipads, and iphones (it gets crazy around our place on Friday nights!), we heard the drip, drip, drip, ddddddddrrriiiiiiiiiipppp again.
We promptly informed the property management folks on Saturday morning that we needed a real fix to stop the leak. Supposedly, while we were in Qingdao that day, they successfully provided one. Except they didn’t. The leak was still noisily and annoyingly drip, drip, dripping when we arrived home later that evening. It continued until Monday afternoon when the workers came back yet again to look into the problem, which is being caused by (1) the incorrect installation of the unit (2) excessive condensation due to the incorrect installation (3) a big hole in the bottom of the unit and (4) lack of proper ventilation for the unit. Long story short, a permanent solution to our leak is not looking likely…even though our downstairs neighbors are beginning to have the very same problem in the very same locations we are. In the meantime, another temporary fix has been installed: a trash bag like liner under our upstairs neighbors’ AC/heating unit. I hope I didn’t lose any of you with that high-tech mumbo-jumbo. Supposedly, the workers will be back to waterproof the concrete block that houses the faulty unit. Will this resolve the problem? Probably not. What would resolve the problem? According to my semi-pro home remodeling better half, some proper ventilation and connecting a hose to the hole that would then hang off the side of the building, so the excess water doesn’t pool in the concrete underneath it. But, let’s face it. This is China (TIC) where even a quick and simple fix can turn into a long, drawn out, herculean effort that ends in — at best — questionable results. I can see the leaky saga starting up again once the AC unit gets cranked in the hot summer months.
Oh, I guess this would be a good time to mention another issue we have been having in the last couple weeks. At random times throughout the day we are hearing a gong-like noise sound off in our apartment. I know, I know. This sounds crazy. We sound crazy. I swear we are not. At first we thought the sound must be coming from a neighbor’s apartment or from workers outside (there is always work going on outside), but it is not. We — I — have pinpointed the general area that the noise is coming from, which is the metal railing that lines our living room window. Like a crazy person, I have stood right by it while hearing the GOOOONNGG! noise. It sounds like Oscar the Grouch is nearby using two metal trash can lids as cymbals…I wish that were the case. At least we would have a culprit to confront.
While all this annoying living in a shitty concrete block called an apartment in the middle of nowhere China stuff has been happening, we discovered a great stress reliever: golf. We were invited to take a lesson with some other expats on the driving range at Tiger Beach Golf Links, which is a few miles from our village. I had never been interested in golf. Probably because of my traumatic childhood miniature golf experience that involved whacking my mother in the eye with my club. Hey, I was trying to get the ball over the little creek that ran through the green. I didn’t know she was standing right behind me! I hope you’ve forgiven me, mom.
But I digress. Back to real golf. We got the shock of a lifetime when it turned out that I was actually good. Even Julia, our instructor, told me I was a natural. Wow! While I had the form and the aim, Iggy brought the power. Something I tried to work on when we went back a few days later. So far, golf seems like a good sport. It gives us an excuse to be outside enjoying the lovely spring weather, doing something active, yet not too strenuous. And it really was a great stress reliever. In the combined 2.5 hours we spent out there, we took out all our apartment frustrations on those poor golf balls.