I have been in Beijing for the last week, so I am over my jet lag, and just settling into a routine. So, when Mark mentioned he would have to leave for a night, I was feeling good about the idea.
He left at 8:30 and at 8:50pm. the apartment went black, as the power kicked off. Luckily I remembered where I had stored a flashlight. A quick call to Grace, to hear her say that we must have used up all of our power. In China, you prepay for your power which is stored on a credit type card, with the idea you always have some money in the fund so you never have an interruption of power. Here at our apartment we usually get a warning when we are down to our last $60.00. Not this time. Grace said she would call a worker who doesn’t speak English to come up and help me, so I made a quick call to Tom who was driving Mark to the airport to do some interpreting for me. We took the elevator down to the main floor to buy some power.
The machine did not like my credit card.
Another call to Tom, to find out the worker’s credit card was also having some problems. At this point I am starting to wonder if I am going to be going to bed with no lights and no AC.
The worker motions for me to have a seat while he calls another worker.
A few minutes later he arrived, and after many tries, and another call to Tom, I was handed a receipt showing a deposit of $7.50 was made to my account. Enough power to last me a couple days.
The worker and I went back up to my apartment, and after a few minutes, voila, lights, TV, and AC restored. Needless to say it took me a little while to relax and go to sleep.
This morning I attended the International Newcomer’s Club monthly meeting, a short 20 minute walk from my apartment. It was a wonderful feeling to be in a room surrounded by women who can speak English. Actually on my walk there I met Maxine from England who was quite friendly. At the table I met Claudia from Munich Germany who has only been here in Beijing for a month. We exchanged phone numbers and made plans to hang out on Wednesday. She lives outside of Beijing, but has a driver, so we will meet near my apartment and I will show her some of the local sights. Wow, I’ve made a friend, and have something to write on my calendar. It even gets better!
I purchased some raffle tickets, and was thrilled when my number was called first. I won a $60.00 gift card to a nearby Indian Restaurant.
After the meeting some of us went to a Vietnamese Restaurant for lunch. Good food, more ladies to visit with, and a good end to a wonderful outing.