About a year ago I complained about a small leak from my bathroom into the hallway. My bathroom is fine, the leak is in the wall, and despite numerous more complaints over the year, I was told it was “too difficult” to fix. I even has an engineering student check with his teacher about the safety of a water soaked concrete wall. “Teacher said it is okay,” was the report back.
Obviously, the leak hasn’t healed itself and it’s only gotten worse, especially as the cold weather hinders evaporation. I’ve gotten quite accustomed to the green slime and actually now use it as a marker. (“The door after the disgusting mold is where I live.”)
The water has soaked down to the floor below me, and began to pool so much on the landing that it dripped down the stairs to the level below. The pool on the landing was also so big there was no way to avoid it, and you’d have to get your shoe wet. Someone put a brick on the ground to use as a sort of stepping stone to keep your foot dry. That’s how bad it got.
Then out of the blue I get a bunch of phone calls and texts from the office. “Becky, the plumber needs to look at your apartment right away! Can you let him in?” I had several people come to my place, crowd into the bathroom, talk for a minute, and 24-hours later it was fixed. Yep, fixed.
But it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. I stayed in my bedroom while two plumber I affectionally called Beavis and Butthead went to work. I poked my head out a few times and every time I did it was like watching a Laurel & Hardy skit. They had this comically long plastic pipe they were going to reroute my hot water with, and just watching them get it into my apartment was hilarious. They had to get it past the stairwell railing while trying to fit it into my door which included a lot of backing up, lifting it high, lifting it low.
At one point the main plumber left, and the other guy was just kinda walking around my apartment, back and forth. He got very quiet for awhile and I was about to go out and check on him when the sounds of snoring reached my ears.
There was also a lot of smashy-smashy sounds, which turned out to be my ceiling, and by the time they swept up and finished I had the craziest patchwork of pipes.
These buildings aren’t even that old, built just a few years before I arrived (not even 10 years old) and already most are crumbling. The building I teach in recently got a facelift as the entire facade crumbled off, and half of the foreign teachers have had their pipes re-done because of shoddy workmanship.
Things are jet not built to last here in China. Buildings go up and go down so quickly, they don’t take the time or spend for quality. And then you get crazy bathroom set-ups like this. I know this patch together pipe is going to begin leaking pretty soon. The good thing that this is my last semester here, so I figure it’s the next guys problem!
Writer. Traveler. Tea Drinker.Writer. Traveler. Tea Drinker. Doing all three in China
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Wow, that is some seriously insane plumbing! Good thing you’ll only have to put up with it for a few more months. Where are you heading after the semester is over?
Hey Jocelyn! I’m actually not sure yet. Originally I wanted to go north-west, like Xi’an, but the pollution is just so bad I can’t even consider it anymore. I’ll probably end up somewhere on the east coast, I’m looking at Fuzhou and Qingdao now. But you know hiring in China, it doesn’t happen until late april/early May so right now I’m just gathering info and seeing where would be suitable!
Once I know for sure I’m sure I’ll blog about it. 😉
If you’re thinking about heading to Fuzhou you should consider going to Xiamen instead (it’s in the same province). I’ve heard nothing but good things about Xiamen from foreigners because of its mild climate and clean environment.
It might sound silly but I already know too many people in Xiamen, and there might be more friends moving there in the near future. I want to start somewhere from scratch, with no friends there already. Plus, a place with a small expat community usually pays more, since the pool of candidates is smaller. 🙂