Friday, August 10, 2007

A long day

Ah, only one thing that we needed to do today - buy a mattress pad. That should be easy, right? No, as we all know nothing is easy in China, and I don't think it would be that much easier even if we did know that language. I'm basing that on all of the conversations we have with locals who speak fluent English, thinks we think are easy simply are not.
The mattress in our place - Hard, just like the floor.
So we start with a walk up Hubin Nanlu, the street just on the south side of the lake, because we had seen some furniture stores along the street and we were told that was the place most likely to find a mattress pad. Just trying to explain to the guys at work that the beds were too hard was a task in itself, I honestly think they are just used to sleeping on the floors and find the beds too soft. I'll let Tina explain another day how she finds the contractors sleeping on the floor outside our apartment almost every afternoon during their break.

We end up walking into many a furniture store, both of us with our handy phones in hand, asking simply for a mattress pad. Both of our phones have Chinese-English dictionaries in them so I have mine on the Chinese for mattress and Tina has hers set on top. We can point to the two words and then hand signal a mattress top, and soft, and everything else we can think of. They just look and laugh and say "mayo" which is just "don't have."

Six stores all the same, some have mattress pads which a basically a big towel, some have nothing, most places point us to those bamboo floor mats which apparently they all use on their beds. This all being done walking between shops in 84 degree heat, 80% humidity, and occasional drizzle, it starts to wear on you...

Finally, at mall with the Carrefour, we start to make some progress. In the mall we find in the bedding section the same standard towel type covers and the bamboo, but also they have the Tempurpedic mattress pads. Finally, exactly what we want, this is perfect. Wait, what? It's how much? 17,000 RMB, that's just over 2,200 USD. We both begrudgingly decide that's just a bit too much.

Another bedding store at the entrance to the Carrefour just shake their head, say mayo, and point us to the entrance of the Carrefour. Yes, they actually have what we want, or the closest thing to what we want, and at this point it'll work. They have pads with some thickness to them so we buy two and hope that they'll work. We also buy a DVD player while we are there, we deserve it.

We love the Carrefour, it has all sorts of items and a really good supermarket, and as an added bonus it seems to be the only place that will take international credit cards.

The pads are now on the bed, and although still harder then we would like, we are looking forward to finally having a comfortable nights sleep....
New softer bedding...

And in other news, the tyhpoon that we talked about pretty much wore itself out crossing Taiwan and has finally arrived here just as rain. So we miss all the crazy winds and storms but now will get two plus days of rain. At least this should help to break the heat and humidity.

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