define( 'WPCACHEHOME', '/home/sybrrgeek/' ); //Added by WP-Cache Manager It’s curtains for you! But not me.

It’s curtains for you! But not me.

Oh this day. Grrr.

It’s not like anything so bad has happened, it’s just that it’s, like, one of those days where a bunch of small things all kick in one after the other, and ya just feel like, can I have a do-over? Just go back to bed and then get up and try it again from the top, because this just isn’t working out?

The first issue: the weather. OK fair enough, weather happens. Sometimes it rains. I understand. If that had been the only thing that didn’t go the way I wanted today, you know, it would have been no biggie. But it set the tone for the day, I guess.

Because it was raining pretty heavily in the morning, I didn’t get out to start trying to do the things I actually wanted to get done until close to noon. The main thing I wanted to accomplish today was to get some new drapes made for the bedroom. The ones in there now are white, and very thin – which means we wake up with the sun every morning, like it or not. I HATE THIS. I do not want to get up one minute earlier than I absolutely have to.

G needed to go into the office for a few hours, so that meant I had to take Miss M with me on this excursion. Now, I love my daughter dearly, of course I do. But I’m sure every single one of you out there who has ever had a small child knows, and I’m sure those of you who haven’t can well imagine, that even the simplest of errands becomes infinitely and exponentially more complicated when aforementioned small child is involved, in any way. In retrospect, I should never have attempted this today with her in tow and instead spent the day on the sofa watching The Princess and The Frog eight times in a row, but as we all know, hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway. The biggest cock-up of the day is the fact that I didn’t really know where I was going. Through the help of a local expat website, I got some information about an area where there are (apparently…) a number of shops that do made-to-order curtains and drapes at reasonable prices. I didn’t have a specific address, just the name of a particular street (Yishan Lu) and a cross street (Yude lu). Here is what should have been my warning: I checked the map, and it showed that Yishan and Yude do not, in fact, intersect. They do come fairly close though, so I figured, OK, I know the zone I need to head for, and there is a metro station nearby which is on one of the lines that is also very near where I live, so it’s fairly easy to get there so I’ll just go and have a wander and I’m sure we’ll find one of these many shops that are (supposedly…) right there.

HA bloody HA.

You can guess how well that worked out, hey?

First of all, just getting to the metro station – a block and a half away – took an age, as M needed to splash in every puddle en route, stop for a snack, stop for a drink, stop to look at a child mannequin in a store window, stop to look at a shiny thing by the side of the road, stop to amuse herself by spinning her umbrella, and really generally just stop walking at random intervals. Eventually what felt like about an hour later, we get to the station and board the train. This part of the trip is mercifully uneventful. About 9 stops later, we emerge. I start walking to where I think I’m meant to be looking. No curtain shops. I see every other kind of home-related shop: tiles, timber flooring, windows, wood screens, kitchens, bathrooms, carpets, wallpaper – on and on and on, but not a single shop that does textiles. I try another nearby street. And another. Circle back and try another.

Mei you.

Bear in mind it is humid and sticky as a swamp; and I am carrying a big shopping bag containing a) a large throw pillow which has all the colours in it we have in our decorating scheme so I wanted to have it with me to help me choose a suitable pattern of fabric and b) a panel of the existing drapes so I can show what I want and what size since my Chinese isn’t great; and most pertinently, I’ve got miserable bitching 4-year-old attached to the end of my arm reciting a continual monologue of whinge.

So, I’m like, fuck. this. noise. (Sorry for the swearing, but that is actually exactly what I thought, so it’s not gratuitious.) I’d told M that if she was really good whilst Mummy went to the curtain shop, we’d go to the Barbie Store afterward. Well she really wasn’t especially good, actually she was rather a pain in the ass but I didn’t fucking feel like dealing with the moaning I’d have to endure if we didn’t go, so we grabbed a cab and headed for Barbieland. (That sentence did contain gratuitous swearing, it’s true.)

We went to the Barbie Cafe first for a late lunch/early supper. I love the Barbie Cafe. It’s really good. In general our time at the Barbie Store was good, really the best part of the day (not that there was a lot of competition of that department, but anyway…) I won’t go on about it now as I’ve written about it before – here’s a link to my previous post about that, in case anyone is interested.

I got to see the new Debbie Harry Barbie, about which I have seriously conflicting feelings. She’s the first of the new series of dolls called “Ladies of the 80’s.” On the one hand I’m like, well, hell yeah, of course she should be, too f’ing right. (See, reining in the swearing now.) But on the other hand I’m like, ‘…really? I mean, really?’

So, yeah, having a nice time at the Barbie Store, the afternoon might not turn out to be a total disaster, eh? OOH NOO. On the way out, M catches her fingers in the opening doors of the elevator, screams until the walls shake. (Fair enough – it hurt, I’m sure.) She’s fine, no lasting damage, but it meant we had to shoot back upstairs in the lift to the cafe, and get some ice. OK, it’s not a major tragedy, no trip to the emergency room or anything, but it totally takes the wind out of her sails and she curls up under my arm and starts sobbing that she ‘just wants to go home’.

Which we do. Except the first cab I get doesn’t want to go to where I want him to go, so then I have to try to get another one. On a rainy day on a main shopping street in Shanghai, it can be nearly impossible to get on taxi, let alone 2. So I stand there on the street with my crying kid for half a century, whilst other people unencumbered by a crying child of their own jump nimbly in front of me anytime a free cab appears so they can snag it first. Eventually I got annoyed enough by this that I whacked the next guy who tried this move in the shins with my umbrella and tripped him. Of course, from all appearances, it was a completely innocent accident…

*sigh* Minor trials and tribulations in the grand scheme of things, I know. It’s not exactly true human suffering. BUT GODDAMN IT, it was a really frustrating, stupid, useless day. Can I please have a do-over?

4 Responses to “It’s curtains for you! But not me.”

  • Kelly says:

    I’ve had so many days like that, I really feel for you. :(

    I was once told to never pray for patience, because then God will sent all sorts of problems your way to give you the opportunity to learn.

    In that since, maybe it’s best not to ask for a do over, the next one might be worse! Just be glad the day is gone, and you’ll never have to do it again. ;)

  • Kelly says:

    Oh Lord… in that ‘sense’, not ‘since’ – yes, I write for a living! *blush*

  • Sue Bichler says:

    can i assume you will continue the search for curtains on a nice, sunny, cooler day when the divine miss M is in school?

  • Tina says:

    I’ve been reading your blog and love your sense of humor. So much fun…

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