HUAIROU, Beijing Province:
We had a bit of a lazy today, but it was nice to chill out for a bit.
Had a long lie-in, and then we went for an early dinner at 'Woman Love' (local noodle place). We didn't have noodles, but we ate some yummy potatoes, aubergines, peppers, mange-tous and rice. We tried to order some tea, and the guy seemed to understand! But who knows where that went...
Did some skyping in the evening, but half way through our power went. Not an unusual occurence - so I grabbed my stool (I can't reach the fuse box without it...) and switched it back on. But it lasted for about 30 seconds, and switched back off again!
It did this a number of times, so Sarah and I grabbed our phrase book to go and ask the guard what's going on. After some difficulties with just exiting our block (the main door was jammed - knocked on a few of our neighbour's to try and get some help, but no-one answered! Managed to open it eventually, so it was quite lucky that they didn't... could have been quite embarrassing if they'd opened it first time!)
We found the guard at the front gate who went to get someone to help us. A guy in a t-shirt, suit jacket, boxers and flip-flops (bear in mind Huairou is often cold in the daytime... it's freezing at night!) came with us to look at our fuse box, and said a load of stuff in Chinese that we didn't understand.
Managed to get hold of one of our English speaking Chinese friends (Emily, our contact at the school who said 'ring me whenever you need any help!', especially emphasising the 'whenever', didn't answer her phone!), who translated over the phone that we needed to top up our electricity balance. How did the school feel this was not important information for us to know?!?!
After a lucky find of the electricity card (again, clearly not important information!), the guy in the boxers and flip-flops drove us to an office somewhere in Huairou, where we were able to top up our electricty (at 11pm!) and then drove us home and showed us how to put it into our fuse box.
Electricity is sorted now, but we're a little annoyed with the school! Will be even more if they're not going to reimburse us - it's in our contract that our bills should be paid by the school!