The China Diaries // Day 5 and Day 6

by - May 19, 2014

That night Arsenal won. There’s a funny story behind the game (of course, game as in the game I went through, in order to watch Football).
As I told you before, there are two set-top boxes here that show Hindi and English channels respectively. On the English box, we select ‘Internet TV’ and watch the channels over Wi-Fi. There are 170 channels in total, which include Fox, Sky, HBO, etc. The main problem before watching a football match is the time (when it will be telecasted in India/China), and also on which channel. Many a times it is on HD; thankfully I have HD subscription in India, so I did not miss any match there; but here it was completely different. 

An hour before the match, I went through all the 170 channels (by numbing my thumb). I investigated specially on the sports channel. On few sports channels they were showing some other sport; on few, they were showing local matches; on few they were showing La Liga final; and on few channels, they were actually showing old football matches. I was so frustrated; it was a FINAL, for God’s sake, and these guys are telecasting old Chelsea and Man City matches! 

So I kept the remote controller aside, and continued writing blog, with TV on the ‘mute’ mode. Again at 9:15 (the match was at 9:30 IST), I went through all the 170 channels, but with no success. Then my cellphone’s time said it was 9:30; now I started panicking. I had to watch the match, no matter what. So again I searched the channels. Then I opened Goals Live app on my mobile, and at 4 minutes, Arsenal was down by one goal. I couldn’t believe. I started crying. I immediately searched for sites that showed live streaming. Till then four minutes had passed, and Hull City (Arsenal’s opponent) scored another goal. I couldn’t control! I was going crazy! What was wrong with Arsenal’s defense? Where were Koscielny and Mertesacker (Arsenal’s defenders)?
I searched and tried so many sites and links, but failed every time. 

Then I opened the zip of my black hoodie, and touched my heart, which was covered with a ‘RED’ t-shirt; and prayed to God. Then at 17 minutes, Cazorla scored a goal! I sighed! It was too cold to leave the zipper open; but still I managed to keep it open so that Arsenal wins. (I am a crazy, superstitious girl when it comes to sports.) 

Then meanwhile, one site asked me to download a player. I rejected the proposal. Then when I thought it was high time, I went to that site again, and downloaded the player. While the player was downloading and installing, it was Half Time already; the score being ‘Arsenal 1-2 Hull City’. 
I had time to do something about the match in the break. So I again switched on the TV to try my luck. I went through all the sports channels, and finally on Sky Net HD 2, they were showing highlights of this match, and there was a ‘LIVE’ near the Sky Net logo. I waited. Then I finished publishing the blog; cancelled the download of the video player, and hoped. Then after the break, I saw all the players, and how happy I was! All the tears had dried, and they turned into a wide smile when Koscielny scored!

And…Arsenal won in the Extra Time; and my ‘happy’ tears came out.

Day 5

Today we didn’t go anywhere in the morning. I got up late because of the match. I slept at 3:30 CST, so couldn’t get up early. 

While I was brushing my teeth, my mom called me in the living room to teach her (again) how to operate the remote. Actually, there are three remote controllers, so it is very confusing. While the brush was still in my mouth, I was telling her. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, followed by a strange noise of someone opening the door. It was the maid! She had opened the door before we could open it. She has a spare set of keys. So when my dad is in the office, she opens the door and does the work and goes. She works every alternate day. But she had come for the first since we were here.

She entered, and I awkwardly smiled at her, with brush in the mouth. She said hello to me and mom. Then she started working in the kitchen. Though my mom had cleaned the utensils previous night, still the utensils used for the breakfast were still in the sink; she cleaned those. Then she cleaned the floor (quickly). Then she cleaned the window railings of my room, and then she went.

Today I had lunch directly, skipping the breakfast. I got up at 1, so it was obvious. Along with lunch, I was watching TV with mom. I don’t know how, but strangely, I’ve got a liking towards News! (Irony; a girl opting for journalism is talking something like this!) So nowadays, I don’t watch TV shows, films, or listen to songs; but…NEWS and blog.
After it was around 3:30, mom lied down on sofa, and I sat with laptop on my lap; obviously blogging! 

The time after lunch, and till dad comes (around 6:15), it is very cold. We feel like taking blankets and wearing sweaters!
At 5:30, I texted dad telling him the evening plans that were on the cards. We had decided to go to Lotus departmental store, as we couldn’t go anywhere in the morning, like always. 

Dad came, and we served him tea, biscuits, chaklya, and pohyacha chivda. (It felt as if it was Diwali festival going on!) We changed to the good clothes. I didn’t wear shorts this time, because I knew it was cold, dark, plus the area would not be good. I wore a dad’s bottle green sweatshirt, a pair of Levi’s dark jeans, beige coloured bellies, a Casio pistachio coloured watch (!) and a green Spykar t-shirt inside, with a neatly tied ponytail (and a slight hot pink lipstick). 

However, I was feeling sad inside, because dad was tired due to work already, and I’d asked him to go out with us. But I couldn’t cancel the plan as well. I feel very sad if he has to strain his legs. (He had an operation done in his calf long back; so his legs pain a lot.) And also, I hate when my mom has to toil. I know how much they work, yet I don’t help them. I feel like I’m the stupidest kid. 

We started walking, and it was too cold. All the locals looked at us, like always. I feel like I'm a celebrity here (LOL). The road to Lotus was too long! It was never ending. 
The thing I have observed about the stairs in China is that they have a slope attached to them too. It becomes a multipurpose one; the stairs for climbing/walking, and the slope for baby-strollers! Also, here we get shopping-strollers; means we can put all the groceries in this stroller, and drag it home! You can see slopes everywhere! Even in the entrance of buildings (for bicycles and strollers).

An eye-catching thing in Asian countries like China, Japan, Singapore, etc. is the bright lights. As we went to Lotus in the evening, it was dark till we reached there by walking. All the shops had name plates in bright colours. 
The roads in China are clean. And just like in India, they too sell clothes, accessories, and vegetables on roads. 

At last we reached the store. I always felt Lotus would be promising.
Lotus is a huge departmental store. There is a wide variety of everything available there—Food stuffs, beverages, clothes, home appliances, office supplies, etc. The stationary section was outstanding! I didn’t know where to start the search from! I finally picked up few items.

One thing I didn’t like about China is the prices of different things. Clothes are unbelievably expensive here! And so are bags and shoes! A simple bag is not less than Rs. 1000! There is nothing less than Rs. 1000 actually. So I have decided to shop in India instead. 

Anyway, after we bought milk, stationary, and chips, we searched for a taxi. Thankfully a car with green light on its top appeared in the dark, and we stopped it. The minimum taxi fare is Rs. 150 (15 Yuan); that’s why people in China go walking, by bikes/cycles/cars or buy stuff online. We somehow told the driver the address to our home. At last by 9:30 we got home. It was thalipeeth for dinner; but as we were late and were tired walking in the huge store, we asked mom to cancel thalipeeth. Instead we had a thick egg omelet with an equally large and thick brown bed, served with Heinz chilly sauce. 

Day 6

Last night I slept next to mom. Today I got up at regular time. But we didn’t go out in the morning. Instead, we went after lunch.
Mom and I had to wash hair. So when both of us wash hair on the same day, it is kind of a big deal. We don’t like to wash hair. Seriously, it is a big thing to do. So after having thalipeeth as lunch, we changed and went to the plaza. The nearby school had just left, and we saw mothers and grandparents with the kids. We walked pass them, as they stared curiously at my mom’s tikli. I don’t know why they look at us like that!

Today we went out from 3:30 to 4:30 only. As we have visited the plaza many times, we have seen all the shops. As soon as we covered remaining shops, I told mom we should go home. I was bored. We walked towards home, and I was regretting wearing shorts, because it was cold outside. 

The temperature variation is the opposite of that in India—the malls are colder, and the stores inside the malls are warmer. Whereas in India, the stores are warm, and the malls are cold! So it is always a regular activity of removing and wearing sweaters on and off (like the kid does in Karate Kid!). 
After we reached home, mom and I dozed off on the sofa. It was perfectly cozy, without the blanket too. In a while, dad came. 

Tomorrow he has a holiday, so he told us tomorrow’s plans.

For dinner, we had a packet of readymade Dal Makhani, freshly made hot Poli, curd, onions and rice. It was a delish.

Oh yeah, and how can I forget this—we watched a Marathi play named ‘Eka Lagnachi Goshta’ on TV via hard disk. What an awesome play it was!

So finally I am on my bed, with the laptop on my lap, along with a warm quilt. It is slightly raining outside. I have to get up (early) at 9 o’ clock tomorrow.
Goodnight. xoxo.

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