The Dog Must Die!

Looking through the scope, I scan the surrounding buildings hoping to catch my quarry through the crosshairs.  Painstakingly, I search each balcony and window, willing the vile creature to appear before me.  Its shrill voice pierces my ears, worms its way through to the deepest recesses of my brain.  I go to sleep at night with its maniacal yammering ringing in my ears.  Arrrgh!  Today my neighbour’s dog MUST DIE!!!

I have spent the last two years here in Fuzhou planning the death of my neighbour’s dog.  Actually, I have been planning both their demise.  Yes, I have decided the owner of the offending mutt must die as well.  They are the creators of this diabolical dog and they cannot be allowed to create more after I have dispatched this one.

I have mulled over becoming the world’s deadliest sniper.  I will spend my days positioned on a windy rooftop, scanning the surrounding buildings with my deadly scope for my irritating quarry.  A solitary figure, invisible to all around them, patiently waiting for the delicious time when I have them both in my sights and I slowly squeeze the trigger.

No wait, I’m hanging precariously from a single rope, slowly crawling down the side of the building like spiderman.  I will silently and lethally descend until I locate the lair of the foul beast and it’s unsuspecting master.  Invisible and unheard, I will hang over the balcony and with a single, well aimed puff, I will send a deadly dart to poison (rather painfully, too) my arch-nemeses.

Perhaps, I can become a falconer and train a raptor to swoop down at fantastic speed to grab the little fluff ball in it’s unforgiving talons and then fly off to a high rooftop to deliver the life ending, throat ripping bite of its hooked beak.  In the meantime, another of my feathered assassins has flown in and has cleverly harassed and scared the canine’s owner over the balcony.  Their feint cry of fear and dispair suddenly cut off as they go splat on the pavement below.

This being Fuzhou, I’m sure I can put out a hit on the dastardly duo.  There are plenty of triads here to choose from.  I’ll get a thug to go in and hack them both up with a meat axe!

The possibilities are endless.  Every morning, as I attempt to drink my coffee in relative peace and yapping, yelping quiet, I dream about the day I wake up to no dog barking, just the blaring car horns, jackhammers and morning ‘conversations’ of the locals.

Visiting your uni student child

I’ve recently come down to Melbourne to see the oldest boy. You know, make sure he’s safe, eating properly, top up the cash reserves, etc.

To save money, I asked if I could stay with him as he’s got the place to himself during the holidays. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not going to be showroom clean but, seriously, I’m surprised the boy is still alive! Honestly, if these kids can survive living in the filth they’ve created, back packing through a third world country is definitely doable.

The rules of survival for an unsuspecting parent visiting the child in his shared accommodation are:-
1. Wash everything before using it, EVERYTHING.
2. Keep your eyes closed when taking anything out of the fridge. What you don’t know won’t hurt (as much).
3. Never eat anything you haven’t bought yourself. You’ll live longer.
4. Always wear shoes or thongs, or flip flops. Never, ever, ever walk around barefoot. In addition to possibly catching some deadly bacterial infection, you also run the risk of being permanently stuck to the floor.
5. The bathroom is second most lethal room in the place. Practise kangaroo hopping the loo, as you don’t NEVER actually want to make contact with any part of the toilet. Hand towels (if by some act of god there are any) and, bath mats are absolutely avoided at all costs.
6. If you have a hazmat suit, wear it!!!

I’m definitely booking accommodation next time I visit the boy. I’m too old to fight off deadly bacteria, wade knee deep through pubes and dust and, I definitely don’t want to waste my few remaining brain cells on guessing what that weird, gross stain is.

Sichuan Airlines

One thing you never want to hear when travelling on a chinese domestic airline whilst flying through turbulence is, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a problem, please fasten your seatbelts.’

The inflight entertainment consists of instructions on how to fasten your seatbelt. They’ve shown us how to jump from the plane and make it safely aboard the life raft if we crash land inside an indoor swimming pool. Oh thank god, they’ve put on a promo for Chengdu to distract us from ‘the problem’.

I’ve got a problem, I think I’m going to shit myself and then have a heart attack. My husband is sleeping peacefully beside me, oblivious to ‘the problem’. My son has decided to ignore it and watch Skyfall on his iPad.

We did make it to land safely and I managed to keep my underwear poop free.

Waiting

I’m waiting for engineering to come and fix the air conditioning. I hate waiting. Our doorbell is broken – incidentally, engineering broke this because one day it took me a while to answer the door, so they thought it was broken and ‘fixed’ it. It hasn’t worked for two years now.
Waiting for people to arrive forces one into an unproductive state. This is very different to just lying around and doing nothing. At least the latter is a conscious decision you’ve chosen to make. Waiting for something means you can’t get on and do things you really want or need to. Even going to the bathroom becomes a dilemma – what if they knock whilst I’m on the throne?
And another thing, what’s wrong with giving a specific bloody time! We’ll be there shortly obviously means something completely different to them – like, anywhere between 10am and 6pm. Bastards! So, now I am getting up to check the door every time a slight breeze makes it rattle the tiniest bit.
Oh well, I have discovered that I suck at spider solitaire on my phone app. There you are, I’ve managed to achieve one thing.
THEY’RE HERE!!!!

Saturday in Fuzhou

ACNE STUDIOS her t-shirt proclaims as she walks across the bright white Wu Yi Square. In another corner of the blistering hot square a man wearing the summer attire of a mainland Chinese man – baggy white singlet and navy blue suit trousers rolled to the knees – practises his latest moves in a pair of roller blades. Closer to home a naked man in a pale pink terry bathrobes wanders down the street barefoot, exposing himself to passers by. The fire station next door is washing all the engines with one of the high powered hoses from an engine. Too bad if anyone is passing, a cyclist wobbles out of control from a stray jet of water. Fruit sellers inhabit every street corner and lane way. If it fits on a bamboo skewer, it’s edible.

This is Saturday in Fuzhou.

Went to a jewellery market and bought a feather duster

So, today I actually ventured out to see a bit more of Fuzhou. If it weren’t for the intrepid Mercedes wives, I’d still be at home yelling at the television. Our trip today began at the Sculpting in Time cafe. On my way there I had an interesting talk with the taxi driver and was told my Chinese is shit. Our adventure for the day would be a jewellery market.

The market is in two buildings which I pass each Sunday on the way to the supermarket. We saw loads of ‘fabulous’ pieces, some workshops and even found a guy who can embroider a picture of a family member from a photo. Look out family, I’ve found this year’s christmas presents. There were jade sellers, too and I found that carvings of cabbages are good things to have.

After the jewellery market we visited one of those markets which sell everything from Hello Kitty night lights to hair bands complete with tufts of fake ringlets and sequinned bows. This is where I found my beautiful feather duster made from real chook feathers. I bought it for the cat, not for dusting (perish the thought). We finished the day at a restaurant which was in a 200 year old building. We had a fabulous meal of spicy Sichuan dishes.

To end the day, I checked out a cat cafe where you can have a coffee and play with a cat.

All in all, a good day out.

Love the destination, hate the actual travelling

My ankles and feet have decided to swell up and resemble two ham hocks ready for a nice long soak in a large pot of pea and ham soup. I’ve been travelling since 4pm yesterday and my next flight isn’t until 5.50pm. I’ve had an unscheduled stop in Manilla (the tarmac was so exotic) and I’ve had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with all those extraordinarily busy types who live in the business class lounge. You know the sort, never actually check in any luggage, have at least two mobile phones on the go, tap away furiously at their laptops, and think that everyone around them is going to be completely enthralled with their conference call. There’s a man who has been photographing and filming all the incoming and outgoing planes. I wonder if he’s a trainspotter, as well. I usually like to pass the time by trying to work out what job each person in the lounge might have.

My destination isn’t very sexy this time. I’m back to Fuzhou for a couple of months. I’ll be there for summer, which means dodging large pools of vomit, inventing new ways to stop the sweat from running down between my butt cheeks and losing the never ending battle of humidity frizzed hair. I’ll get to run the gauntlet set down by the ballroom dancing folk in the park, and be enchanted by the pasty white, mosquito bite riddled bowed legs of the scantily clad over 40 women who think hot pants and platform shoes with large fluorescent flowers are perfectly acceptable summer wear.