I stood transfixed in the hall way of my new house-in-progress, staring maybe a little slack jawed at the light green vanity sitting there awaiting installation in my decidedly un-green-friendly bathroom.
Pointing like we do at everything here in China, I stammer.
My wife can only nod her head as she gives me a sideways look, knowing whats coming next, “I’ll call the lady,” and she’s on the phone, translating for me;
“the lady say’s it’s not green, it’s elephant tooth color.”
“No,” I say from experience “This is not ivory, this is a light, pastel green.”
“ The lady says it's what we picked from the catalogue.”
“The catalogue showed a white cabinet, that’s why we picked it.”
Now I am a light shade of pastel green as I realize this is what we will get. There will be no replacement, apology, discount or explanation.
Ordinarily, I’d be a much brighter shade of red, the color of fury, But I am at the tail end of “decorating” the interior of my house. It’s possible I have burned that light bulb out. Nowadays, the best I can do is point and maybe snort derisively as the workers do not one iota more than they were instructed to do at birth.
Snort “So, if I need to take a crap I should open the shower doors to give me enough room for my knees?”
Snort “Maybe the towel rack will fit if they put it on sideways. Hey’ I was just kidding!”
Come time to settle the bill and the lady is on the phone to my wife, “you’d better pay us in cash,” My wife turns her own favorite shade and exclaims “ Meiya?” ( this means “what”, forcibly) and then a stream of presumed curses followed by a “hmmpf” and a hang up.
SO now we are standing in line at the ATM plotting never-gonna-happen revenge on yet another vendor in a long line of vendors all bearing the immense karmic weight of our curses and of course, our cash.