After four years of living alone (in China), I, for the first time, have a roommate.  He’s the bar consultant for Wilber’s, and he’s from Hong Kong.  Although our work schedules are basically the same, our day schedules vary significantly since he sleeps until about 3 PM.  And although one would imagine having a roommate for the first time in years to be the biggest change in someone’s living situation, it isn’t even close.  Here are a few events that have happened/continued to happen over the past 3 months:

– I wake up to knocking on the door.  I get up and answer.  It’s a man.  Lao Wang.  He is the caretaker of the apartments apparently.  I’m not really sure though, I can’t understand what is happening.  He rushes through the place, touching everything and some other man comes in.  They set up the Wifi and leave.

– Twenty minutes later, there is a quieter knock at the door.  Unsure as to whether its real or not, I continue to lay in bed.  I hear someone put a key in the door.  It opens.  Now, I’m sitting in my bed waiting to be swiftly hacked to pieces by this stranger who possesses a key to my apartment.  Then the murderer knocks on my bedroom door.  Having seen law and order before, I’m pretty sure that a murderer would not knock on my door.  When I open it, I see a woman.  She says something I can’t understand, goes into my room, opens the balcony door, takes a bucket, fills it with water, and waters the tree plant things on my balcony.  She next tells me she will be doing this every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and leaves.  I allow this to go on for a week before telling her that it’s not necessary and I will water them myself.

– I get a phone call from Lao Wang.  He asks me where I am.  I give the phone to my colleague since he speaks at a rate of 1,000 words per minute rendering him completely impossible to comprehend on the phone.  Apparently, I have left my window opened, and there is rain in the forecast.  I instruct my colleague to inform him that I am not going home to close my window.  Upon arriving home 6 hours later (in which time it did not rain…), I discover my window is closed.

– I get up and head out for the day.  Later on, when I see Bo, my roommate, he tells me that Lao Wang has been to our place in the morning.  Respectfully, he knocked, and then brought in two girls.  They walked around our apartment, taking pictures of each of the rooms (including our bedrooms), and then left.  An hour later, two boys come in with Lao Wang, and get the same privileged tour.  I imagine we are being kicked out but have no idea.

– Plant Watering lady (who clearly has too much time on her hands now that I have relinquished her of the duty of watering my two trees) cannot understand why Bo put a pillow on the roof.  She asks me about this every day for a week.  I always tell her that I also don’t know.  Finally, she takes it in for Bo.  

– It’s 6 in the morning.  Bo hasn’t moved in yet, and I heard a frantic pounding on the front door.  It’s Lao Wang.  He comes running into my apartment and busts into Bo’s room.  Some pipe had busted and water was flooding out everywhere.  He frantically kills the water and turns to me.  I look at him completely confounded.  He asks me for a mop but I tell him that I don’t have one.  He runs back downstairs and comes back up.  “Go back to sleep,” he tells me.  Being 6:30 AM, I take up his offer.  He spends the next half hour mopping up the water.  When I wake up hours later, he is back with a new guy.  They are wearing my flip flops that were by the door and fixing the pipe in the bathroom.  

These are just a few of the highlights.  While the rate of the oddities is slowing down, they do continue, and I’ll be sure to keep updating them.  Now, I’m going to head out for the day.  Bye bye for now.

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