In our town I've seen many fisherman. They hop in little fishing boats, or wade into the water, patiently waiting for fish. They need these fish to survive. To make money or to eat. Without patience, they would have nothing. They are flexible, willing to wait out the storm or follow the fish. They adapt in ways necessary to provide for their families. They are still and content. Their faces are kind, and their eyes tell stories of a life worth living.
If there is one thing I've learned since moving to China, it is that things never go as planned. You can do your best to have a routine and keep things in order, but sometimes (cough cough, always), China requires a bit of flexibility.
The other day we woke up to a knock on the door. A man with a bag of tools and gadgets had unexpectedly showed up to do some maintenance on our apartment. We were thrilled to find out that he was changing out all the drains in our place. This was great new, because our house has kind of a mildewy, poopy odor that always lingers, that comes from the drains. They told us it would help with the smell so we were so excited. After finishing the repairs we were told we now had to wait 2 days before we could shower or do laundry. Now, 2 days without showering in China is kind of a big deal. I'm going to keep it real, back in Idaho I could go 3-5 day without showering (don't judge, I'm a mom, we don't always get that luxury). I used a little deodorant, spray some dry shampoo in my hair, and i'm good to go! Well China is a different story. If you leave the house, the pollution gets in your lungs, your hair, cakes on to your face...it comes in through the windows you keep open, because a little breeze is better than a humid apartment, so your feet are black from walking around your own house. You sweat, a lot, and there's no such thing as dry shampoo here. So yes, this news was bad. Not being able to do laundry was rough, but it was nothing compared to not showering.
I had decided to do my best to keep clean and thought this would be a perfect couple of days to stay in and work on the blog, but we have noticed this past week, that we been having a lot electronic issues. As we've attempted to upload photos, or write posts, the internet hasn't been working well. We've bought and tinkered with different VPN's, but things were still frustratingly slow. We attempted resetting the router, only to realized, we don't know Chinese, so we cant set it back up, so that didn't help. So here we are, bumming internet off the office router on the floor below us (which will only connect in one room in our house). Even that internet has been faulty, but we've learned it was a school wide problem, which will hopefully be fixed soon.
With scarce internet, and attempting to still be productive, I thought this would be a great time to work on video editing...well think again. Have you noticed the lack of video this Sunday? Drew's computer was acting funny along with our phones, and too little too late we discovered the higher voltage from the electrical outlets, is frying our electronics (I should've known by the crackling sounds my straightener has been making). So Drew's computer charger is toast, and all our footage is on that computer we cant charge.
I start to feel frustrated by the inconveniences that seem to pile on, one after another, things don't seem fair. Nothing is easy here, but then I think back to the fisherman on his boat. I think of his patience, and flexibility. He doesn't allow problems to get in his way, how can he do this? Because he can't do anything else. It is survival, and he's found a way to be happy through it all. I'm always humbled by the people around me, and reminded of what really matters. We are doing our best to take things as they come, and just roll with it. It's been a great lesson in patience for us. Dealing with slow or no internet and bad smells can really put you in a bad mood, but we are learning to just be flexible from the examples around us.
Ps- the new drains have now made our apartment smell ten times worse, but that's ok, because we found pumpkin scented wax melts at the mall and can now close our eyes and pretend we're not in a hot smelly room😉