As per the previous morning I’m woken up and proceed to turn on the TV to get the… wait. No TV. The TV’s not working. Seriously?! I’ve clearly been out the night before but no time to shower. I need to know the time so I run downstairs looking for the first person with a watch.
A bit of a knob: the guy pointing at me, the ‘foreigner’, and laughing with his family but nevertheless he has a watch. I try to check the time on his wrist before realising how hung over and sketchy I look. I give him the international sing language for “time?” and he obliges: 12.05pm. Ah. Of course! I run back to my apartment, weaving through his family and have a shower knowing I am late on my second day in.
Now, I must add, that here, if you are late, you are fined. I have to clock-in with my fingerprint so there’s really no way around it. However, given that you are fined say, 50p for every minute you are late, you are only fined £5 if you forget to clock-in. I arrive at around half 12 so of course, I opt for the latter.
On this day I am not only stared at and/or pointed at, but a little kid shouts at me: “Wygoren!” His mother kindly gives him a smack for me and I later find out this means ‘foreigner’. (Spelt ‘Waiguoren’). I laughed it off but it’s something I’ve got used to now.
Food-wise, I have now been taught the word for ‘dumplings’ but my first attempt to order them results in failure. Note that I’ve been taught the word, not the pronunciation! And I haven’t had breakfast since I was in the UK.
Anyways, I finally get my phone back during dinner - everything’s in Chinese but I should’ve known I suppose. I get home and spend an hour or so trying to download ‘WeChat’ in order to ‘chat’ with this bird from last night. It never downloaded and now I’m all out of credit.
The third night in my new flat ends with a spot of cleaning. (getting the idea yet?)