Well summer is here – how do I know? I have started carrying a face cloth again all day to wipe the perspiration from my face, That’s how. Yesterday it got up to 30° and today at 9:00 it is already 22°. What else comes with summer? Well, fruit comes with summer. (nice segue) Yesterday we went down to our market where we get all of fruit and vegetables. You know how we tell you how cheap everything here is? Well, wait till I tell you about this.
This is my little friend at the market. Her stall is only fruit – they all have their specialty – fruit, vegetables, fish, pork, whatever. She always wants to give me free samples and yesterday it was grapes and cherries and we also chose a watermelon about the size of a volleyball or maybe a little smaller. In her hands are the bags of grapes and cherries. When I gave her a twenty ($3.50) to pay for it all she laughed, so I gave her a fifty and she laughed some more. After having a calculator, pencil and paper and couple more people involved, we found out it was 189 rmb – $31.50! Two of the three items were cheap, but the third was way over the top. We still aren’t sure which, since when we said “Tie gwyla” – too much, she just took everything back and put them back in the boxes. Not sure if I will be getting anymore free samples.
From there we were off to the strawberry guy who likes to smoke as he is serving you but is very friendly. We bought some of these on Friday. They are amazingly flavourful and juicy, just like the strawberries of our youth. The only problem is they are quite soft, and when you put them in a bag and carry them home in your backpack they tend to get squished. So we bought some more yesterday, but carried them home flat. These cost us 24rmb ($4.00).
Our final stop was to get some pineapple. You may have seen this done before, but we always get a kick out of it. It is quite fascinating to watch – there really is little waste and those sharp implements could carve you up pretty good if you slipped.
Okay enough of the market. The summer also brings out the housing market. (Ed. note: Huh?) Yesterday when we went to Starbucks, there were a number of display tents up. This one is advertising a new apartment complex which is being built/sold in our immediate vicinity. This is the “Realtor” and I took it as we were leaving. When we were approaching, she was spending all of her time looking into her mirror/phone adjusting her hair and examining her makeup. We then watched her from inside as she stood outside the tent, continuing her preening and as we left she was doing it again – but just as I took the photo she answered the phone. Terry had two comments – 1. “She isn’t all that attractive” and 2. “She looks like she’s ready for soliciting drinks in the bar”.
Summer time also encourages us to exercise – and who wouldn’t want to ride this around. Sadly, the picture doesn’t do the colourful tires justice – they are VERY fluorescent in colour.
And now for a couple of updates.
I am sure you are all familiar with the story of our heater installation this past December. Well this weekend, with the advent of summer, we thought we would turn it in to an air conditioner. TIC. When they installed it, they didn’t bother to do much with the hose that takes the condensation away – except to leave it open to drain on to the balcony. When I went out last night, I thought that the washing machine had leaked, there was so much water there. I sent an email to Mr. Zhao and he had Mr. Fixit from the school come this morning and make it right. The solution? Take a piece of hose, attach it to the built in hose and stick it out through the wall to drain into mid air. TIC
Finally for those of you who have been worried about Dino, you can relax. We spotted him with a whole school of new friends on Sunday (in the green circle). And for those of you who are skeptical about my ability to tell one goldfish from another, don’t you think I could recognize my own pet! Shame on you.