My days off at Web had been changed since I returned from the UK in February. Previously I had managed to get Friday and Saturday which was incredibly cheeky considering Saturday and Sunday are two of the busiest days in the training centre. As they say, "If you don't ask you don't get".
Since I came back after my holiday the H.R. department had changed my days to Tuesday and Wednesday. I wasn't very happy about this, but I was promised I would have them changed back again after a month. Thankfully they have kept their word which has put a smile back on my face. It means I can go back to teaching children on Saturday and I will also be able to start having piano lessons. The downside of this is that I am now having to work seven days in a row until I make it to next Friday.
This week I had the pleasure of Kimi joining me on my days off. We planned to get out of the apartment and do something. This plan was immediately thrown in the rubbish when we looked out of the window: rain. The rain here has been ferocious and has no intention of stopping. As I write this we are on day 19 of uninterrupted rain. Apparently this is not completely natural either. There have been droughts in some parts of the Zhejiang province so the government have been using a chemical called silver iodide which forces rain clouds to dispense their lot rather prematurely. The first time I heard of such a thing being used here was for the opening ceremony of the Olympic games. Rain was scheduled to coincide with the event, so again, rockets were fired into the sky and a city outside of Beijing was flooded -- probably.
What is there to do on a rainy, dismal, and dull day in Wenzhou? There's only one answer: KTV. Kimi has been eager to go to karaoke for some time, Wednesday just seemed like the perfect day to be stuck inside. The KTV buildings are almost like hotels, you have to book a room, choose the size, and pay for how long you would like to use it for. We purchased the smallest room for a couple of hours, it was cheap at only 28 RMB. Inside, the rooms are neatly decorated with two microphones, a touch screen computer to select the songs, and a large wide-screen TV. I am by no means a qualified singer, but it is strangely enjoyable singing along to music videos in the privacy of a sound-proof room. It isn't easy finding English songs as the search function is useless. Instead you have to trawl through page after page trying to find an artist or song that is recognisable. There was a large choice of Abba, The Beatles, Westlife, and The Backstreet Boys; also some more obscure stuff like Richard Ashcroft, Cat Stevens, and The Animals were available too.
Somehow we managed to spend almost three hours in our room. By the time we checked out it was almost time for dinner. We had decided earlier in the day that we would go for a hotel buffet. They are more expensive than a usual dinner here, but now and again it is worth the treat -- especially as they have things like bread and butter on offer.
We arrived at The Dynasty Hotel opposite from Kimi's home just as the Buffet was starting. As we were about to enter the restaurant we noticed that the price had been raised, instead of the previous 98 RMB it was now 135 RMB. We took a look in the two other hotels close by the Dynasty to compare prices. One of the others was only 68 RMB but was full, and the second was 158 RMB, too much. Back we went to the Dynasty, only this time much wetter.
Both of us were extra-determined to get our money's worth from the meal. I immediately went for the bread and butter, salad, fruit, chips, and desserts. Kimi on the other hand went for the seafood, meat, and desserts.
I felt quite sick at the end of it all which could only mean one thing: it was worth it. At least it won't be for another month or two until we do such a thing again.