I had an important document I had to print, but all the print shops near my school are closed and shuttered. So I had to go to downtown Lin’an and find one. I didn’t know of an exact location, so I just got off the bus and started walking. I saw a place which advertised printing and walked in.
It was a dark dingy place, no lights on, white tile floor caked with dirt, but I saw some copy machines. In the side room, separated by those plastic flaps to keep a room warmer, I saw a young college-aged guy and an older man. (His grandpa?)
They were in front of a computer, watching something on the internet, sitting around a metal fire pit filled with hot ashes. With no heating, many people use these to keep warm, burning kindling they find, or old boxes or papers. They’re usually outside, on the sidewalk, where, ya know, an open flame is less dangerous, but these two guys had it inside their shop.
I needed to print something out, write on it, then scan it. It was a color print out and as the guy takes a few minutes fiddling with the printer my ears perk up hearing English.The video they were watching was in English. This is what I heard.
Guy: Pizza delivery. One sausage pizza.
Woman: Oooh, sausage pizza my favorite. How much do I owe you?
Guy: I’m late so the pizza is free of charge.
Woman: So great. Would you like to join me? I think your sausage pizza looks delicious. I wanna eat it.
It was a cheap 80’s porn!
The guy comes back with my printout, and I started writing. He goes back to the video and stops it and starts watching something else. I just hear Chinese.
I finish and notice English again. As I give the guy my paper to scan into the computer I look at the video they are playing. On screen is an overweight guy, balding, with a mustache. He’s helping a blond woman dressed only in a towel at a shower.
Man: You just turn it on like this and the water comes out here. [it sprays and the girl cooes and giggles at the spray.]
Girl: I’m a dirty girl, I need a shower. How much do I owe you?
Man: Oh, its just a few minutes, no problem, I can’t charge you.
Girl: [all flirty] Maybe there are other ways I can repay you.
The shop owner gave me back my paper and USB with the scanned document on it. I handed him the cash and walked out the door.
A true WTF china moment.