The 新竹 [Xinzhu] sisters’ apartment was infested with mold, so I’ve been looking for a replacement. On Thursday, I found a possibility online, called the landlord, and informed the sisters so they could go over and look at the apartment.
That night, they called me and told me they liked the apartment and wanted to move. I talked to the landlord, an elderly woman who, despite her dislike of missionaries, told me they could move in immediately. I set up a contract signing with her for Friday morning in 新竹 [Xinzhu].
Elder Smith and I started driving at dawn to make it from Taipei to Xinzhu in time for the 10:00 appointment. We finally arrived after about an hour and a half on the highway, and pulled into a parking lot near the new apartment.
As soon as I stepped out of the car, I heard an ominous hissing noise. I stooped down to the front left tire. Sure enough, a the head of a huge nail protruded from the rapidly-deflating tire! Within a few minutes, the tire would have no air at all. I jumped back in the car, and we peeled out of the lot. I rolled down the window and shouted to some people standing by the road, "Where’s the nearest car repair shop?"
Within a minute, we pulled into a greasy shack by the side of the road. We looked around and yelled, and a woman finally emerged from the darkness in back of the shop. She told us she would call Boss to fix the tire.
Before long, a man puttered over on an old scooter, spat two pieces of betel nut into the gutter, and started working on the car. He jacked it up, pulled the tire off, removed the nail, and stuffed a piece of rubber into the hole. We payed him, parked the car again, and started looking for the apartment. I called the landlord’s phone repeatedly, but it was turned off, and there was no answer.
We finally found the apartment, but nobody was there. We rang the doorbell several times. It was already almost 11:00. I called the mission office and had them look up her home phone. Elder Smith called, and the woman finally picked up.
"Didn’t we set up for 10:00?" Elder Smith asked.
"I decided I don’t want to rent to you," she replied.
My blood boiled! We had driven all the way from Taipei to Xinzhu, punctured our tire, and searched high and low for the apartment, all for nothing. Elder Smith hung up the phone. We drove back to Taipei.
The day got better after that, though, because our first five copies of Phase 4 were printed by the time we returned! I submitted the document on Monday. Now, we just have to proofread and resubmit our changes.
Also, I called an exterminator to kill the cockroaches in our apartment. They sprayed insecticide all over our apartment while we were out. I hope it worked, because I still saw a ton of cockroaches running around in my laundry when we got back that night. Perhaps the movement I saw was merely the last throes preceding rigor mortis.
For P-day, we went to the area around Taipei 101. We watched some street performers rolling around inside giant hoops, and we bought some Eversmile pants. These pants are waterproof and stretchy, and feel like exercise pants while maintaining the appearance of dress pants.
The assistants said there were two stores in the area that would let us sit in their expensive massage chairs, so we looked around the department stores and at last found the place. The attendants did indeed permit us to try the massage chairs, but they did so grudgingly, and meted us both a hearty portion of hairy eyeball as soon as they saw our nametags. They were obviously very familiar with missionaries.
That’s about all for this week.