Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Oppressed by Fate! (Yet again!)

Trouble always comes in threes, they say.

It seems there may be something to that.

Last Thursday (as chance would have it, the first day for ages when I had a ton of urgent work to do on my computer, most of it requiring regular online access for fact-checking, or communicating with employers by e-mail), my Internet connection suddenly started getting glitchy, then failed altogether. I thought at first that the censors were raising their game ahead of this week's National Party Congress in Beijing, and having taken undue offence at my attempts to do some Googling about Deng Xiaoping, had decided not merely to torpedo my VPN connection, but to sever my access completely. It transpired that in fact my imprudent Google search had not been the triggering event; it was just a freakish coincidence that China Unicom had chosen that precise second to cut off my Internet service for non-payment. It seems they date the term of your subscription from the 1st of the month in which you commence it, even if you didn't take up the service until near the end of the month. And, of course, this being China, they don't tell anyone this. Even my landlord, who's been suffering with Unicom for years, was completely taken by surprise by this, by my (well, his - it's in his name) subscription being terminated three weeks before we'd expected. Easy enough to get the service restored, once we realised what the problem was - but it was hugely inconvenient timing, wiping out the best part of an afternoon's work for me.

The next day, my washing-machine suddenly lost power in the middle of doing a load of laundry. Particularly inconvenient, since I was off on my holidays a few days later, and needed to wash some clothes I was going to take with me. And particularly worrying, since the problem would appear to be a loose wire, and hence the whole machine - and indeed, the wet floor of my bathroom - might very well have become live. And four days later, I'm still waiting for my landlord to arrange a repair or replacement under his warranty. Grrrrr.

Well, I thought a nice cup of tea would calm me down. At which point, of course, my electric kettle inexplicably ceased to function as well.

This is starting to seem sinister. I do hope it isn't going to be any more than three things that go wrong for me...

It seems as though Lenka's Trouble Is A Friend Of Mine is becoming my theme song!

[Ah, well, as it happens... while I was writing this post, I suffered a a major computer freeze-up, one of those where even Ctrl-Alt-Delete won't get you out of jail. Had to crash the computer by removing the battery, and it then took an agonising 10 minutes or so to boot up again. Most alarming.

And I'd had a particularly disastrous experience at the hairdresser's just a day or two before, suffering at the hands of an especially dopey young cutter who just couldn't grasp the concept of symmetry.

Maybe I am destined to suffer three groups of three bad things???]

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