Dreams of White Tiles . . .



Filed under: Uncategorized — Roddy @ 11:03 am

My landlord phones up once every three months, which coincidentally is how often I pay rent. She also happens to phone about two days after the rent is due, usually to check something is working. In winter, it’s ‘Is the heating working ok?’ and I’ll say yes it is thanks, when would you like to come round and collect the rent and she’ll say ‘Oh, the rent . . . I completely forgot, I’ll come round tomorrow’ and then she’ll collect the rent and I won’t hear from her for exactly three months, when she’ll suddenly decide to phone up and check the toilet is flushing ok.

Apart from that, she might phone me to tell me someone’s coming round to read the water meter or something, and I’ll phone her if something breaks. Then last week she phoned up to tell me there’d be a fridge delivered next week. This was kind of unexpected so I got her to repeat herself four times before I was sure she was actually saying there would be a fridge delivered next week. This is a good thing for two reasons. Firstly, I was in absolutely no doubt that there would be a fridge delivered. Secondly, my landlord reinforced her belief that I’m a bit dense, which will make it easier for me to pretend not to understand concepts like ‘rent increase’ and so on in the future.

When I moved into this flat about 18 months ago it didn’t have a fridge. I’d thought occasionally about getting one, but never got round to it. I eat out all the time, have a water dispenser for chilled water, and there are lots of little shops 10 seconds walk away that sell cold beer. The antique fridge in my last apartment never had anything in it, and as it made various noises that could keep me awake through two doors it spent most of its life turned off. I didn’t really miss not having a fridge.

I’m not sure why my landlord suddenly decided to buy a fridge. She may well be softening me up for a rent increase (though as mentioned, I’m softening her up for a blank, uncomprehending stare) or hoping it’ll convince me to stay longer – I’d been making noises about maybe moving out, but after a bit of research and a visit to a couple of ‘小户型’ apartments in the shiny new block next door, which turned out to be hotel rooms with a kitchen slammed into one wall for 50% more than my current place, I decided I’m better off where I am at least until I decide to double the amount of rent I pay or move a bit further away from the center.

When she phoned she’d already ordered the fridge, so I didn’t bother suggesting a certain size or anything – I just hoped it would be a small mini-bar type fridge that would slot in next to my chair and hold plenty of beer. However, if a things worth doing well, it’s worth doing excessively, so the flat, never likely to be home to more than one person, now has a fridge an entire family could live out of, never mind eat out of.

I’m not sure what I should do with all this fridge space. I’ve started by using it as a cupboard for mugs and glasses, as the only way it could fit into the kitchen was by blocking off the actual cupboard where I used to keep them, and I don’t care if it is, as the delivery man said, ‘a pity nobody will see it here’, I’m not having the fridge in the lounge. I might try keeping clothes in there come summer – the chilled mugs aren’t great for steaming coffee, but chilled jeans for sweating me?

I could, theoretically, stock up on beer and keep it cold in the fridge, rather than grabbing a few chilled bottles from the shop when necessary. Realistically speaking though, I’d probably stock up on beer and then drink it all the same night. Same goes for food – I don’t cook, so any food I kept would be snack food, and what better accompaniment to a cold beer?


  1. eggs, cheese, yoghurt, strawberries, meat, vegetables, apples, bacon

    Comment by Anonymous — 1/28/2005 @ 7:39 pm

  2. My landlord phones me only once a year to urge to pay the rent.

    Comment by skylee — 3/1/2005 @ 7:47 am

  3. Hi. I found this blog through your profile on Chinese-forums.com, and if you’re still in China I wish you’d start up this blog again. I’ve read so much of it now, and it’s funny, intelligent, informative, and for me who is 21 years old, fresh out of college and 6 months into living the dream of finally settling and working in China (as much as one can be settled on a work visa) this is one of the best and most human, relatable blogs I’ve ever found.
    Even if you don’t keep posting (it’s been 6 years, I do understand) please know that I’m enjoying reading them all anyway.


    Comment by Fish — 2/18/2016 @ 4:49 am

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