Chinese Word of the Day: 很贵
(hen3 gui4) very expensive
For several weeks our elliptical trainer has been running rough. It felt like running in the dark on a road with unexpected potholes. Yesterday it started making a scraping sound, and then suddenly there was a snap and a sound like a spring being released and no resistance at all.
We’ve been putting in half an hour on the machine almost every morning since we bought it three years ago. I guess that’s a lot of use, though a machine built for the health clubs should be able to take it. It provided a great workout. I would drip sweat like a shower nozzle and listen to my heart pounding in my ears. The after workout shower always felt great. Now that’s over.
I opened up the machine and found the problem, a broken belt between the main wheel and the resistance wheel. We’ll make a phone call to see if we can get a new belt, but other than that we’re not spending any money on the machine. We only have three more months in China, and the machine is not going back to Canada with us.
I remember the decision to buy this machine. I had two worries. I feared that it would sit in our living room unused, a silent guilt trip and rebuke, gathering dust, of which we seem to have a plethora in our apartment. And I anticipated with horror that it would get used and I’d have to exercise every morning. Both worries, like most worries in life, turned out to be groundless. We’ve never regretted buying the professional quality machine, and it’s made a huge contribution to our health and feelings of well being, energy, being in control. I’m not sure what will fill the gap now that it’s dead. We went for a long bike ride yesterday, to Wanda Plaza for a Starbucks latte and a stop at Auchan for groceries on our way back, and I’m pretty sure that burned as many calories as the half hour we spend on the elliptical. The weather is great now. Maybe biking can replace the living room workout.
The Move Back Home
One my reasons (excuses) for not updating is that I’ve been distracted as we explored our options for our return to Canada. We had an estimate from a moving company of several thousand dollars to ship our stuff home, which is more than it’s worth if we buy it new in Canada. Looks like we’re going to have a big yard sale. I’ll be selling my inflatable boat for whatever I can get for it. We’re exploring other options, but the post office has a 60cm maximum on boxes, so my almost new life size skeleton can’t be sent by parcel post. I’m not sure how that’s getting to Canada, but I’m working on it.
Today I’ll stop by the post office, pick up one of their largest boxes, bring it home and fill it with heavy books and such, and find out what it will cost to send it to Canada. Anything we can’t send by post at a reasonable price will stay in China.
Our biggest surprise was the estimate for sending our dog home ahead of us. The airlines will not accept a dog after June 20 because of the heat at the airport. Our contracts keep us here until June 30. So we tried to set it up to send GouGou to the care of my sister, Catherine, in Canada sometime in early June. The estimate for that was substantially more than the price of a ticket for Catherine to come to China and return with our dog. Now that’s what’s happening. We’re buying Catherine a return ticket to Shanghai. She’ll get another visit, and finally get that day in Shanghai she wanted but missed on her last visit. We get something of value other then getting our dog home, and save a bit of money too. Win win all around.
Another Student Poll
One of the articles we read in my seminar class this term was about a new highrise mausoleum in Texas, which lead to discussions of strange funeral practices. That, in turn, lead to the question of what we all want done with our mortal remains. And that lead to this question to the class….
As always, your comments are welcome.