My apartment was a bit of mess when I first arrived in Nanjing. There were tons of garbage left and very few useful things. A broken printer, some empty dirty boxes, dusty artificial flowers, cans, papers, and heaps of old useless things. I thought, “Who on earth wants to keep these things in a room?” I only found a big kettle and some pans useful. I was a little surprised as I had asked the former resident to leave things which she didn’t need to take home to Japan, but I didn’t ask for this much rubbish. It took me a week to clean up the apartment. I removed ugly plastic hooks, and dirty scotch tape glue from walls, and wiped up stains everywhere.
I had to buy everything from clothespins to household appliances. Most of my neighbors had lots of goods left over from their ex-experts. I was quite envious back then. There were many plates left in my kitchen but they were so ugly that I couldn’t stand to use them everyday. (I don’t think I am too fussy about plates but they were depressingly hideous.) So I bought some new plates, cutlery and mugs. I also bought a purified water-machine, a toaster, a CD player, a DVD player and a lamp. Even now, I keep buying things for my room, making a comfortable place to live. Shopping can be fun but it also can be time-consuming, demanding, and tiring. It requires a hard bargaining process here. It’s not easy for new comers to find the right place to buy things, so I have been spending a lot of time and energy on it since my arrival.
But this is not the end of this story. One of my friends said that everyday is a series of small but unexpected happenings. Here in China, more accurately, everyday is a series of unexpected inconveniences. For the starters, my DVD player was already broken when I opened the box. My CD player has broken. The ink cartridge of the printer has broken. My plastic bicycle handle bar grip was broken. The paint on the wall and ceiling of my room falls down little by little; the tap is getting looser every time I use it. The radiator up stairs broke and the water dripped down into my bed room. You have to keep handling these things everyday more or less, and things won’t easily get fixed or quickly be sorted. I know these things happen sometimes but here they happen quite often. You are always busy taking care of something. The repairs are far from perfect and people don’t care much about their jobs. Therefore I am easily made very happy and grateful in China when I have a day without broken stuff. Life is good, but definitely busy with small but unexpected happenings.