Thursday, December 06, 2007

Five Purchases We are debating

Living a wild and spontaneous life has its drawbacks. For example, when you move to China with no real plan its hard to know how long it may take to complete the plan...and so you don't know how long you will stay. There are a few big ticket items we have been debating purchasing. Things that would make our lives more convenient but aren't really necessities. If you were staying for two months, you wouldn't even consider them. If however you are staying for two years, those two years might be considerably enhanced by use of the afore mentioned big ticket items. And the longer you spend yaking about it, the less use you get out of the damn things. So you can see our dilemma. Without further adieu, here are the top five purchases we are debating:

1) A nice, soft, cloudlike mattress. I know I've mentioned this in previous posts...the mattress we have is like sleeping on a pile of rocks loosely covered with splintery two by fours. This purchase is certainly not the most expensive on our list, but it would require a lot of navigating and we'd have to do something with it at the end of our time here. (Presumably the owner of these apartments likes the mattresses he chose to furnish with and detests the idea of sleeping on a cloud of feathers...)
2)Treadmill. This is more on Eric's list than mine, but I think we'd both find it useful in maintaining our girlish figures. Again the dual problems of what to do with it later and how soon we'd have to dispose of it loom large.
3) Clothes Dryer. This one is huge. Its easy to rhapsodize about the joys of linens dried in the glittering sunshine on a warm spring day. The grim realities of crunchy socks dried on a soot covered balcony in the middle of a booming factory city in China is another matter entirely.
4)Cappucino Maker: admittedly this is more an item of wishful thinking. It was hard enough to track down our tiny drip coffee maker, I haven't seen hide nor hair of the real thing in any of the kitchen shops here. And I shouldn't complain really. The wonderful people at Illy Cafe keep us up to our necks in the most wonderfully thick and creamy cappuccinos. My parents had a friend long ago who was obsessed with preparing the perfect cappuccino at home. He was like a mad scientist in a lab of glittering glass water filters and purifiers, the sharp whir of the coffee grinding machines, the steam hissing from the stainless steel milk frother and stacks and stacks of tiny white cups. I was too small to appreciate good coffee at the time, but I'll never forget what he said about how to identify a well made cappuccino. He said that when you put the thick raw sugar on top, it should never sink through the foam. A well made cappucino can support an entire sugar cube. I've never forgotten that, and I'll tell you, he was so right. Those are the best.
5)Space Heater: How we've gone to sweating through our clothes to piling our bed of rocks with three down comforters at night, I can't tell you. But I'm thinking a space heater might be a good investment. Its certainly not freezing, there is no snow or ice and you don't need more than a light sweater to go out in the daytime, but in the evenings it gets just chilly enough...

I have to laugh at myself because obviously we can do without all these things. After all, we have for the past four months. The other day I was reading the story of Madeline and the Gypsies again. There was this wonderful little drawing of the gypsy mama on top of their little caravan. She was drinking a coffee on the roof while the gypsy papa played the guitar sitting on the horses pulling them along to the next place. I suppose, one of the small trials of seeing the world is that you don't have time or space to accumulate things. Maybe an excellent lesson that the decadent Madame B will never really learn.


Ambrose said...

Soft mattresses also have high resale value in the expat market here in Shenzhen. They are like the SUV of household goods here. Around this time of year and in late spring some appear for sale on various local websites. Some foreigners even have mattresses shipped here from the US, and then sell them when it comes time to move. If you choose to buy new, be assured you might actually be able to sell it once you move.

Kuangsheng said...

(1) Matresses. Balanda. You can get them at Hoba in Bao'an Nth Rd and I think I saw a sign in that shopping centre about half a mile past Windows on the World on the left as you're going towards Shekou. They're American style and beautifully soft. But not cheap.
(2) Clothes driers. There are only two in town. They're both Panasonic. Sorry for being a little inexact but I saw them on a recent trawl through Huaqiang Nth Rd. They were in either Gomei or Sundan, both on the left hand side near Women's World (for easy reference purpose) or in Suning which is right on the corner of Huaqiang and Hongli Rds, at the very northern end of Huaqiang.
"Gan Yi Ji"

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