This week, Jiajia has been concentrating on decorating the new flat, bought on behalf of her uncle. I call him "Drunkle", as he's rarely sober. He's not technically Jiajia's real uncle - just a family friend whom Ava's grandmother made her promise to look after on her death bed. Not that "grandmother" was technically Ava's grandmother either, but that's another story!
New properties in China are sold as concrete shells, with no floor, no plastered walls and only the most basic of amenities. So Jiajia has been scouring markets and the internet to buy wooden floorboards, tiles, lights, sink, taps, etc. She timed it so that she could buy a lot of things on 11th Nov, which is "Singles Day" in China (11/11, geddit?). As well as remembering those who can't yet take part in "Valentine's Day", it is also famous for big discounts in shops and on internet websites. So Ava was up until 3am getting bargains for the flat from, as the floorboard shop puts it, "...the wood of departure Philosophical world". Quite.
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Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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