But Princess Ai Lin does ….
I am trying to wean myself from live-in help and man, does it bite. It is taking me a long time to find my way around an obstacle course of grocery stores and boutique import food stores. How I miss that daily fresh pineapple and that West Coast fruit bowl! How I miss my Ana Maria and her personal grocery shopping! Boo hoo.
Today Ai Lin and I went plant shopping at the flower market, ate scrumptious dumplings, and went to a crazy lamp shop. You would never, ever know there was a lamp shop from the street. After traversing an abandoned parking lot, we squeezed into a tiny alley where we encountered a Frenchman and his blue minivan. On the way home, Ai Lin nearly had a breakdown at the Starbucks because the barista/cashierista did not understand “short” and took several minutes to find the right cup.
This incident was eclipsed a mere thirty minutes later by my rant to the management. Apparently, the walls of my Tudor house are not sturdy enough to hang heavy art work. One would think that, with the obscene amount of rent being paid, one could hang one’s antique mirror over the mantelpiece. But no. I am not the only one with art issues, it seems, and the developer is having quite a time drumming up solutions. While the head of customer service was in my house this afternoon, I took the opportunity to point out the mildew in the basement, the upper dishwasher basket that bangs into the plates on the rack below, and described the bathroom tsunami for her in vivid detail since her English was perfect.
Later, I ran into the woman I thought was moving in next to me. When she announced she’d found a better house, I could barely contain my excitement. She, of course, looked perfect in lipstick, giant daytime pink Mabe pearls (two strands), and pressed polo shirt. I had been depressed for nearly a week at the thought that my new neighbor, an Expat Diva, was going to be less than ten yards away, looking coiffed and wrinkle free 24/7. Ever the hausfrau, my complexion was dewy, my hair in an umkempt ponytail, and my shirt stained with a foreign substance. My roots, however, existed no more. There is a new Vagner in town and his name is Kenny. He needs serious dental work and wears a headband. He’s my new best friend.