Monday, November 21, 2011

The Chinese Way Strikes Again

My moving day got off to the worst of all possible starts. In fact, it all started going pear-shaped the evening before.

I’d switched off my fridge-freezer to defrost it. When I came home that evening, I found that it was leaking its noxious-smelling coolant all over the kitchen floor.

I discovered one of the tubes had got badly kinked and developed a micro-crack in the middle of the fold. This had evidently happened long before I ever moved in, because someone had thought to try to seal it…. with a bandage of Sellotape. This obviously wasn’t the most secure sort of fix; but it seemed to do while the tube was also heavily crusted with ice. Once the ice melted, the Sellotape disintegrated and the leak got going again.

Ethical dilemma: should I volunteer this information to my landlord, and so forfeit my deposit?


John said...

Quite a dilemma you've got there. Are laowai in general trusted more than locals in these matters? If you told him the truth would he believe you or is he the sort who would not believe Mao Zedong's ghost if it came back?
I know he hates you now after you broke his face so to speak, but then I get the impression it's so hard not to over there unless you act like a dick anyway. So to stoop to his level or to do the right thing and hold your ground? Personally I'd chose the latter simply to uphold the proud British end to the death but you know- chances are your landlord was the one who stuck the tape on in the first place...

Froog said...

I am a little ashamed of myself, but I decided that discretion was the better part of saving myself 4,500 rmb.

It was the kind of fault I don't think I should have been liable for, even if it had occurred during my tenancy; but it would have been impossible to persuade the landlord of that, and he would almost certainly have sought to overcharge me for the repair. He had been grumping ominous about making deductions from my deposit because of a broken window-catch on the balcony - a catch that was broken when I moved in, but cost me only 20 rmb to repair.