Friday, April 30, 2010

Wo Ju (Woju) – Snail Space 蜗居, Episode 30

Episode begins with Haiping warning Haizao about having the baby she is pregnant with from Secretary Song. Haizao is optimistic that Song will help her and her child. Haiping says that only pessimists survive, and that she can only rely on herself.

Later in bed, Haiping and Su Chun are discussing Haizao. Haiping blames the city. "This broken city! This broken city! (这破城市!)" she exclaims, it is such that she cannot even take care of her own sister. Su Chun exhorts her not to blame the city, since every life goal and every place one lives is chosen by one's self. There are many people like Haizao, who care only about their short-term gains.

Haiping and Su Chun discuss the fact that they will get the keys to their apartment the next day. Haiping wants to have the apartment appraised both for size and quality. Su Chun says they have bought an apartment off the plan (in advance, 期房) so it is just like making a wager. They will only know about the quality after they live there for a year or two. And their usage rights are only for 70 years, not 80, and by that time the apartment will be worn out.

Haiping and Su Chun run into Grandma Li's son, daughter-in-law and grandson. It turns out that the apartment given to them because of the death of Grandma Li is two floors under Haiping and Su Chun's apartment. They will be neighbors again. Haiping complains that they cannot get away from life of the shikumen.

Secretary Song buys much expensive furniture, imported Italian furniture, for Haizao and her stomach is noticeably large.

The next scene is of Haiping and Su Chun at a cheap market for finishing supplies. They buy some discarded tiles, a kitchen, and building supplies. Haiping is seen lugging heavy supplies up the six flights to their apartment. They put in the floor, a rug, and a table and are putting finishing touches on things.

A man comes to the door of Haiping and Su Chun's new apartment. He says that the apartment they live in, along with many others in the xiaoqu, is 2.7 meters less area than in the contract, meaning they paid 20,000 yuan extra (or didn't get what they paid for). They are asking for all the residents to sign a petition in order for them to weiquan "uphold their rights". The man also has a petition to change the property management since it is an "open system", meaning that the garbage collectors are not employed, and only come when they want. Haiping signs both petitions.

Secretary Song's wife is waiting when he arrived home late. She is angry and he says they can divorce. She cries. Song says he knows that Secretary Sun is investigating him, and he will either become a dragon (master) or will spent the rest of his life in jail. His wife is concerned.

Haiping says: "Gold houses and silver houses are nothing compared to one's own dog-house (金窝银窝都不如自己的狗窝). Today is the most at ease I have ever been in my life."

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