Yesterday I met my boss a cafe on the main campus so that she could hand over a wad of cash that is my salary for the past month. It was in a brown paper envelope with “Kimberly” written on the outside. I counted the bills, signed off on a little slip of paper, and put the envelope in my purse. (It felt really shady, but getting paid in cash seems to be pretty common for English teachers in China.) Of course, with all of that money on me, I wanted to go on a mini shopping spree. I ended up buying some perfume, and treating myself to a hamburger at a restaurant near my house (oh, and a Snicker’s bar for dessert). Then I met up with a group of friends who also got paid, and we decided to have a big night out.
It was a fun night of drinking, dancing and meeting new people, but coming home after midnight means that I have to wake up the elderly couple who are the caretakers for this apartment complex. The front gate of the complex is chained and locked after 12 am, and doesn’t open again until 6:30. Major bummer. But it’s my house and I don’t see why, at 23 years old, I should have a curfew. Last night as the old lady stumbled sleepily to the gate to let me in, she pointed at the sign that says the gate locks at midnight. I apologized, offered her a few kuai (I’ve been told that’s the way to go), she reluctantly accepted it and let me in. This isn’t the first time that she had to let me in, but it is the first time that I’ve paid her off.
I guess being Cinderella isn’t so great after all… Where is my handsome prince who can break the spell…or pick the lock?