Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wo Ju – Snail Space 蜗居, Episode 3

Haizao comes for dinner. Haiping notes that she learns a lot about prices of vegetables and meat, as well as nutrition, from her neighbors. Haizao is thinking about marrying Young Bei. Haiping gives her advice.

Haiping and Young Bei are returning home for holidays (national day).

[Note: Haiping buys toys from Disney store, and has Disney bag; when she gets on the bus to the train station, there is a noticeable logo for KFC. Don't know if these are "product placements" or not.]

Haiping returns home. Haiping’s mother says Ran Ran is over 2, because Haiping is treating her like she is only a few months old. Narrator: Haiping didn't realize that the child had already grown up. Ran Ran is 2.5 years old.

Haiping is extremely upset because Ran Ran chooses as punishment to have "mom hug her". She returns to Jiangzhou.

Haiping, back in longtang, to Su Chun, adamantly: "I want to buy an apartment!"
Su Chun, in disbelief: "It's too hasty, isn't it?"

Haiping: Don't try to stop me. I have decided. Do it as I tell you. I want to buy an apartment and let Ran Ran live with me. A 2-bedroom, 1 living room apartment that is not too far away. 800,000 yuan. The down payment is 20% or 160,000. Our savings plus accumulation fund is 80,000. As for the remaining 80,000, you are responsible for asking your parents for 40,000; I will ask my parents for 20,000 -- and I won’t give them anymore money to raise the child. The remaining 20,000 I will take from Haizao's marriage money and use it for now.

Su Chun: Buying an apartment is not so simple. Don't you plan to decorate it? What about furniture? It's not just the down payment. And with interest rates and everything, it will exceed our ability to pay it back. You are being too rash.

I am not being too rash. I can't wait. I know that everything will be solved in the future. But I can't wait. Now, now I want to buy a 2-bedroom, 1 living room apartment.

Haiping: this price increase in housing, have you seen any increase like this? The stock market goes up and down. But only two days ago, there was a rumor that the price of housing might decrease at the end of the year. Immediately specialists come out in the newspaper and say that the stability of the real estate market must be protected, and the apartment market has just entered its spring. Spring! Even though it has risen this much. [at the end of 2008, this did occur. A stimulus package was passed by the State Council; two points that most certainly would be rued by Haiping are that those who buy a second home can get favorable loan conditions, and that those who sell their apartments within 2 years pay tax only on profit, while those who sell their apartments after two years pay no tax whatsoever. Xinhua article here -- Trans.].

You remember when we graduated from university, we did a calculation -- for that townhouse. If we didn't eat or drink in the city it would take 20 years to pay it off. Now, do the calculation again. If we don't eat or drink in the city it will take 50 years to pay it off for the same townhouse. What does this prove? That suddenly I will live 30 years longer? This proves that the more you think apartments are expensive, the more expensive they get. They become more expensive just to prove you wrong. What can you do? So, this time, we must clench our teeth and buy, otherwise we might never be able to buy for our entire lives. Don’t be afraid. Ask your mother for the money. When she gets old we will take care of her. It’s like buying life insurance but the return is much higher. Go ask her for the money.

Su Chun: Before, you always talked about apartments. Then you always talked about our child. Now you suddenly make a decision.

Haiping: It is because of my daughter. The apartment and the daughter go together. You can only really have a daughter if you have an apartment. ...She [Ran Ran] learned nothing from me, no words, characters, no feelings, understanding of the world. I have not fulfilled my role as mother.

Haiping recalls the difficulties of pregnancy and childbirth. She says she wants a different life, with Ran Ran at her side.

Haizao is lying in bed while Young Bei gets ready for work. She complains about having to work and how well off her boss is.

Haizao is working at a property development company (Dajiang Property (Zhiye) Real Estate Development Company). The boss comes in, looking casually dressed and leisurely asks if any letters have come for him. He notices Haizao cleaning up in the conference room.

Boss: Haizao, didn't you hear? The banquet will be at The Bund Blue Club.
Haozai: Yes, going out to eat with people is part of my job.

At the banquet, the head of the table, seated in the most respected seat, and toasted by Haizao's boss is a man called Secretary General Song. He seems to have an interest in Haizao. He asks her age -- it is 25. She also tells him she is single.

Haizao only has 8,000 in savings, but she will give it plus Young Bei’s savings to Haiping for a down payment on an apartment.