It Seems So Simple #76


Ok.  Now we’re back to a routine after 3 lovely weeks with the grandparents who came for a visit.

Ostensibly to see all of us, of course, but especially our China Surprise.

She’s five months now and charming the socks off every person who walks the streets of our fair city.

But that’s a different post.

This post is really about the heaters/air conditioners we finally managed to get purchased and installed.

It was a smooth process, just go and buy the things, have them delivered, and have them installed.

In your dreams.

Here’s how it really works.

First find someone who has time to go with the man of the family to Happy Family Super-Mega-Giganto-Shopping Mall, where they sell everything from clothing, bedding and shoes to toilets and bathtubs.  And a/c units, of course.

We were rather eager to get these gems because the city universally shuts off the central radiator heat on April 1, and on again November 1.

No matter what the weather report.
No matter how poor insulated your home is.

And we had snow and weather in the 20’s and 30’s during April.

The place cooled down real quick.

The electric heating pads sold in our supermarket helped a little.

Sleeping in long underwear, flannels plus a bathrobe also helped.

The guys delivered 4 boxes a few days after the sale.  We figured 2 boxes were for the big unit, and 1 each for the bedroom units.

The gaps in our language skills were apparent when a few days later the installers come, and tell us the big one has not arrived yet.

Our friend tells us it’s on back order from the factory, and the installers will come back when it’s all there.

We go to Beijing for a Labor Day weekend with the grandparents and roast in 80-degaree weather for a few days, the big unit arrives, and the installers return.

Have you ever thought about how one mounts the outside fan part of an air conditioner on the 14th floor?

No, I hadn’t either.

Well here is the OSHA-unapproved photo version.

First, a guy ties a harness around his torso and gives the other end to his friend.  And climbs outside onto the little concrete ledge designed to hold air conditioner fans.

Then the partners hoist the piece out the window and he finagles it into place.

Then they go to the kids’ bedroom, where there is no ledge outside the window.

So first he literally hangs with his entire upper body outside and somehow attaches some shelf thing to the concrete wall of the building.  While a very reliable coworker is holding on to the other end of the harness inside.

Then he leans out and drapes himself over the fan unit to put it into place and fiddle with the cables.  In the pouring rain, I might add.

I missed a shot of the buddy holding an umbrella over him.

And the finished product? Here, in all its warmth-exuding glory on that rainy evening…mmmm.  aahhh.

If you look closely, you can see one of the bedroom units on the 14th floor.

All for an installment fee of $8 per unit, and 4 hours of work.



4 responses »

  1. Wow…I am afraid of heights, could never do this, or even watch someone else do it…it’s like an entirely different universe! At least the price is right..

  2. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


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