Rolling in Renminbi

I don’t want to make money; I just want to be wonderful.  -Marilyn Monroe


We’ve been in China for fifteen weeks now, which means I’ve been on the job for thirteen weeks. (Knowing the exact number of weeks we’ve been living in Sichuan has nothing to do with a countdown to another placement or some crazy obsession with days and hours and minutes spent here, but rather a patient ticking off of the rotations of the sun on the prison wall containing my HHE. We got an email from the mysterious Mr. Xu this last week that told us our worldly goods have made it to Chengdu, but won’t be released until someone goes down and pays a rather large sum of cash for them. Customs fees? Bribes? Ransom money? I have no idea, but I feel like maybe this transaction is going to involve a large silver suitcase, a key to an anonymous locker in a bustling train station and a lot of ear-piece wearing folks in dark suits  and Ray-Ban sunglasses. All of this, at least in my imagination, for a quirkily painted dresser I bought at a flea market in DC, some jars of peanut butter and boxes of Cheerios made in the epic Costco run and a few boxes of clothing that I haven’t seen in well over a year and will probably dispose of anyway.)

But, fifteen weeks and thirteen on the job. No big deal, right? Except, I hit a major milestone Thursday.


That’s right. It took thirteen weeks and no small amount of extra work on the parts of my management officer and the consulate’s office management specialist, but payday has arrived!

Marilyn Monroe may have been content with being wonderful, but I’d rather be wonderful *and* have the cash-o-la to buy a bauble or two to accessorize said wonderfulness. I firmly believe one can never have enough purses, necklaces or shoes. To which end, I’ve been spending Thad’s hard earned paycheck, but now, I’ve got not only his, but mine as well!

I’ve promised Thad a fancy evening at Pizza Hut to celebrate my new-found position as a bread-winner in the Ross household, but our party plans have been put on hold for a few days, as Thad has been serving as the social sponsor for a new family who has moved in to our apartment complex. That means trips to the airport (possibly putting him within yards of our hostage-held belongings), dinners at neighborhood restaurants, trips to grocery stores and cell phone outlets and just general introductions to the fabulous area in which we live. Plus, with the earthquake in Yiling on Friday, he had to go in and work for a few hours today, making sure any Americans in the affected areas are safe and accounted for. Needless to say, payday pizza has been put on hold for a bit. But, pizza and possibly the world’s most elaborate salad do await us. Sometime. Soon.

While you don’t need to call me up if you are gangsta’, I do like fancy and you are definitely free to get dancey, so, like Pink and her pop-punk party crashes, won’t you come on, come on and raise your glass.  I am once again a wage-earning member of society.

One thought on “Rolling in Renminbi

  1. Pingback: The Case of the Missing HHE | In Search of the End of the Sidewalk

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