Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dental Work, Dumplings And American Cable

This morning I went back to the dentist. "Be brave," I told myself. The German dentist went with me. Once we got there, we waited for her Chinese interpreter friend. I also had Pungy come to watch Chase. Quite a large group for what would otherwise be a standard dentist appointment.

After reviewing the x-ray, the German and the Chinese dentists had a little chat and decided to carve out and fill a small cavity on my tooth, rather than do a full blow root canal. I have to admit I cried like a baby when she gave me the Novocain shot in the roof of my mouth. The German dentist held my hand through the whole thing. I wish all my dentists did that.

From there, I went to the grocery store. Pungy is such a help in so many ways. She is so clever and knows so much more English than she lets on. At one point, I was muttering to myself, "hmmm, I wonder where this cheese is from...." And then Pungy said "New Zealand." At another point we were in the bakery and she pointed to a hot dog wrapped in pastry and said, "hot dog."

When we got back to the apartment, she showed me how to properly cook a dumpling, which goes something like this: (1) Boil water, (2) Add dumplings, (3)When the water comes back to a full boil, add a half cup of room temp water (which cools the water enough so it isn't boiling). When it boils again, you add another half cup of room temp water. You do this three times and then they are ready to eat. I'm going to have to ask Pungy to teach me more ... the food here is awesome and it would be great to learn how to make real Chinese food.

Pungy left early today, because I had plans to go to the Communications Office, to register for American cable. Apparently, the channels and programs are kept under wraps and locals are not allowed to know about or view them. When I asked my residence office manager if she could tell me what channels were available, she said she couldn't because the Communications Office doesn't disclose that information.

Excited by the idea that we might just have American cable, I went to see the resident office manager, who was going to go with me. She said, "do you have all the documents?" I told her I had our passports, like she had requested. "Oh no, you need a working certificate and living certificate, too." Turns out we need a letter from Hub's company indicating he works there - no problem, and we need a letter from our local police station indicating we have registered - turns out this is a big problem.

Turns out we need our landlord (who lives in Canada) to be present, because he owes some back taxes. Oh, great.

So no cable tonight or the foreseeable future.... not that it really matters, Chase has been going to bed anywhere from 9.30 - 11 pm (not sure why) and by then we’re too knackered to even watch TV.

(Note: I am very jealous of my friends who have kids who go to bed at 6 pm. How do you get your kids to do that?)

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