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Locked out

I’m writing this having just managed to get back inside my flat. My flatmates and I went to dinner to celebrate a birthday and returned to find that the lock on the outer door (we have two) of our flat was broken and wouldn’t unlock when the key turned. We called our landlady and were told “Well, it’s too late”, but that she will try to call around to find a company that would come out, who we would have to pay and she would return us the money later.

The most frustrating thing about the whole situation, and others similar, is that it is incredibly difficult to make yourself understood. The man who finally came to fix our door fiddled with the key in the lock, and then repeatedly asked us if he should open it for us, wanting confirmation that he would get paid afterwards. We confirmed we would pay him for opening the door, had our door opened and realised we had most likely been ripped off, especially when I asked him for a receipt and found my request declined. I insisted that he should write us a receipt and finally got him to scribble some characters down.

Fortunately, there were three of us and overall, we only had to wait about an hour. Just one very long and frustrating hour, while we complained about all the bad luck we’ve had with our flat, and had ample time to study the outer door of our apartment. (Hooray for internet connection!)


About Ibtehaal

I graduated with a degree in Chinese and Economics, which involved spending a year studying Chinese in Beijing. This turned out to be the hardest but most rewarding thing I think I have ever done. I've now returned to China for another year, to study in Shanghai and figure out my next steps.

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