Tuesday, September 23, 2003

31 channels and nothing on. I'm watching more daily TV here than I did in the states, but it's mostly due to boredom and the lack of any Internet or phone access in my apartment. One and half of the 31 channels I get are in English and occasionally Japanese and Korean (for some hour long programs). It's a seemingly random mix, although I can count on watching Peter Jennings ABC night newscast live at 7:30 every morning. Beyond that it's cartoons, (no Simpsons or King of the Hill, alas) such as '60s era Casper the Friendly Ghost, and Inspector Gadget; achingly slow and dry Brit science shows on subjects such as sand; soccer matches; the occasional bad movie ("Dante's Peak") and lots of Hong Kong business news.
I realized it was really bad when I switched from one channel's documentary on the history of cobblestones to another that was broadcasting a Korean sitcom. I understand more Korean (a little) than I do Chinese (none), and so was able to follow that with more interest than anything else being broadcast at the time.
Returning to my apartment over the noon hour to devour a boxed Chinese lunch from the nearby 7-Eleven, I found two notices had been dropped through the door of my "lucky number" abode. One was an official looking form with a large sum neatly printed on it. The other was a card with a nude woman on either side, Chinese script and a phone number. Turns out the official form was a notice that my power was to be shut off for nonpayment. Since I'd been there about 5 days, it was obviously a mistake, and a coworker made a call to try to rectify the situation.
I didn't ask him what the card meant. Some messages are universal, but I don't think my married-with-children neighbors on either side got one.

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