Sunday, January 4, 2015

(New) Habits of the Mentally Insane

I've started threatening inanimate objects with my mind. Symptomatic of the onset of Anti-Social Disorder... or perhaps not enough human interaction?

The hot water heater for my apartment requires two sources of power in order to function. First, I must pay for gas by depositing money into a card that looks like a credit card with a sim card attached to one side. Then I must stick this card in the meter so that the meter reads my prepaid gas allowance.

Now, when the water in my bathroom is turned on, the hot water heater must have BATTERIES in it, so that it sparks and then ignites with a flame, and then water heats. OK, I've never seen batteries in a water heater-- like the boilers you have in your home, only not--, but if this is what China demands from me, so be it.

See, in the winter time, shit gets cold. The buildings are  mostly stone--these marble floors look lovely, but they sure will do a number on your toes--, and your body needs heat. Well, praise God, I have a water heater. For some reason though, it only works when it wants to.

Yesterday the weather was perfect. Mild 70's, low humidity, slight breeze. I could romp around in shorts (which surely gives the locals the impression that I am a prostitute, as this weather requires sweaters and boots for those who are acclimated to the subtropical temperatures) all day, no problem. Yesterday, the water heater worked dandy for about 30 seconds--just long enough to get everything (hair included) good and wet. Then the hot water heater changed its mind. One minute I was having an, "Urge for Herbal" shower, and the next I'm screaming my head off because the cold is unbearable.  There is no warning, or slow decline of the heat; things were just perfect, and then really fucked up. It all happened so fast.

I must calm down, the air isn't freezing, I will survive this moment in time.

To reignite the heater, I turn the water off and on again, standing with frozen hair and limbs, and saying a silent prayer. The water heats up and I dip back in. 30 seconds and the torture renews its sentiments to me. Well, I fight with the water temperature long enough to finish getting soap off. As I'm wrapping up, the water heater decides to work, and stay warm--which has to be a cruel game the universe has decided to play on me.

As if I didn't already hate getting wet, China allows me to foster my dislike for showering by adding a little mental conditioning to this daily requirement. Why did God invent sweat?

Today, I get into the shower and the pilot sparks and lights-- wait for the water to warm up, Katy. As I get in, I can hear the water heater (located just on the other side of the wall my shower is on), fumbling. It flames and then dies and then flames. I find myself standing obstinately in the water and mentally swearing, "you better not fucking freeze me again today, you'll regret--" the flame ignites, "oh that is ni--" and dies, "you son of a bi--" and lights, "Jesus loves me," and dies, "You piece of --" and ignites, "deep sigh of relief" and dies, "For Fuck sake, I swear on all that is ho--" and ignites.....

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