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Had a major flood in the apartment two nights ago, and what a kick in the pants it was. A cosmic wake-up call, for certain. I was washing dishes with the headphones on, rocking to Triumph and doing my Rik Emmett impression. That’s why I didn’t hear the pipe burst in the bathroom. By the time I saw the water on the floor, it was probably running for 15-20 minutes. What was I thinking washing the dishes?
I’m leaving Shanghai in less than 4 weeks, but now the end is truly in sight. The apartment has been mostly torn down, and I’m stripping down my possessions – either selling or giving things away.
The flood happened just before 8pm, the closing hour of the maintenance staff. With over 1000 people living in the LQ, you’d think there’d be an emergency staff, but like so many things in China, you have to know who to talk to and how to talk to them — neither one am I qualified to do. My co-workers vanished, and the only person who really helped me was a Chinese woman, a friend of Sheni’s who came to the apartment and helped me talk to the security people who came to help me mop up. The SMIC lesson came through loud and clear – when I needed a support system, where was it? It was nowhere to be found. I got through the crisis just fine, but it left me with no illusions. The only help came in the form of a co-worker who is my student’s dad (who along with his wife gave me a few mops and a 5-gallon jug of water when my water was turned off), and another mom of a student came by to give me a fan and some towels.
So I am letting the floor dry in the empty living room, the slight smell of bleach better than the mold that is sure to creep in here after I check out on June 26th.
But the flood has opened my eyes. And inspired me to get back online again….