Oh, there’s been quite a bit to write about on the landlady front recently! If only I hadn’t been so busy this week, I’d have written earlier. For those of you who don’t know about the old Chinese lady who’s both my landlady and my flatmate, read I Live With a Batty Old Lady. Here’s a re-cap of the last couple of weeks:

The Landlady Forgets I’ve Paid

Since my landlady is very diligent about hunting me down as early as possible on the 19th of each month, I assumed her organization and record keeping were impeccable. They’re not. Early this month, she stopped me on my in one night to ask if I’d paid for last month or not. Since I pay in cash, and she wouldn’t give me a receipt for fear of somehow being caught not declaring rent in her taxes, I had no proof. I told her I was absolutely sure I’d paid, but she insisted that I “go back in my room and check”… whatever that means. Just as I was really starting to get worried that I’d be shafted for a double bill I couldn’t afford, she realized that she’d just made a clerical error. Needless to say, I insisted upon and was able to obtain a receipt for this month’s rent. It came at a price, though.

The Landlady’s New Rules

In addition to her old rules about not leaving my fan on to dry clothes while I’m gone, she’s promulgated four new regulations this month:

  • Tenants must send the elevator to the 5th floor upon coming home:
  • We live on the fourth floor, but we’re now supposed to hit the buttons for four and five if we ride the elevator up. Why? She said that the elevator uses a little bit of electricity, even when no one is in it. Rather than increase her electrical bill, we should send the elevator up to the fifth floor and make that guy pay for the elevator electricity. Crazy? Effective? Ethical? You decide!

  • Now that the 7-11 Doraemon promotion has finished and their Disney promotion has started, we must now tithe our random Disney sticker magnets and stuff to her.
  • There is now a special three-step method for closing the main door to the apartment:
  • The door is very old and there are leaky pipes in the walls. The door is now water-damaged to the point where the bottom of it is flared outwards and pieces of it could be broken off by a stern blow. In accordance with the Way These Things Are Handled, the pipe and door will not be replaced or repaired. Instead we have very explicit rules about how to close the door.

  • We aren’t supposed to lock the doors to our rooms anymore

I acquiesced to every rule except the last. There’s no way I’m just going to leave my door unlocked all the time while living with five strangers and such a “colorful” landlady. I told her that I just have such an ingrained habit of locking my door that I can’t help myself… and it seems to be a reason she can accept.