The red carpet treatment

Pour moi?

Not long after I got up this morning, I heard some rather loud fireworks outside. I assumed that someone was moving into the building. We were meant to be going to 塘南广场 to buy foam rubber pads to put on our rather uncomfortable mattresses. In fact, both of mine are obviously cheap crap – little more than a metal mattress frame in a cloth cover with minimal padding. (I’d aver that 床垫鬼 [Chuangdian Gui, the Chinese mattress demon] constructed these things himself.) When I got downstairs, there was a red carpet, which had bits of streamers on it, snaking through the door. I could only imagine that it’d been laid out for me (to honour my glorious presence; do I need to spell the reason out to you?) and I went outside to meet the others.

But after standing around on the street for a bit, I texted Yvette who said that the trip to the market was probably going to be postponed until tomorrow; and with that I headed home.

It was as I was walking through the complex that some more fireworks started going off with some exceptionally thunderous bangs. (Probably, given the occasion for the fireworks, to scare 床垫鬼 away for good.) When I got near my building, I saw what all the fuss was about. There were some newly weds and their entourage of black cars blocking the way. The parents were swollen with money; the bride with romantic feelings; and the groom was, well, just swollen.

Rather than get tangled up in the wedding party, I thought I’d enter the building through the lower entrance, and I was fortunate that a couple of people were getting out of the lift just in time for me to get in. The lift stopped at the ground floor as I expected it might. Then some camera jockey got into the lift followed by the bride and groom themselves, and a couple of favoured attendants. Knowing what torpid travellers the Chinese can be, I was surprised the bride and groom made it to the lift so quickly. Mind you, he was swollen and she, impelled by… No, not romantic feelings, but rather the desire to calculate the monetary value of their wedding presents so that she can boast about it to her friends in Starbucks while the groom is off bonking his concubine and complaining that his wife only married him for the Kenwood mixer.

I later went shopping, but first I needed to do something about getting the rear tyre of my bike pumped up, and went to the Giant bike shop where I saw one of those small pumps for ¥168. I wondered whether I’d misread the sticker. It seemed to be some sort of hi-tech affair which, I strongly suspect, offered no real advantages over the common or garden variety. But the shop offers free air for inflating tyres, which seems only fair because of the inflated prices for some of their bikes.


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