终点。终点在霍夫堡宫前的英雄广场。除了时间之外，我还有个目标是在专业组全马过终点之前到达，可以看他们冲线。过终点的时候看到跑半马的格布雷希拉希耶还在全马的终点处等别的同行。这次全马的冠军是Sugut, 2:08, 我过终点时表上时间是2:05。我如果等两三分钟就能看到Sugut冲线，但是我过了终点就忘记这个目标了。脑子那会有点空，只想一直走路放松。顺着通道领了奖牌和吃的。另外领了一罐无酒精的啤酒，就是前面我超过那个大啤酒瓶的牌子。喝了两口，确实不如功能饮料好喝，扔了。一直给老婆打电话，直到完全走出了终点区域，做了一下拉伸，才联系上老婆。人太多，她在终点附近根本看不到我，都不知道我已经过了好一会了。休息够了查成绩，chip time 1:58:14。平均步速5:36/k。完全按照计划完成。但是心跳比训练快了很多，全程在180以上，虽然似乎没有影响发挥，跑全马这个状态应该是不行的。
According to my usual frequency of blogging, this is very likely my last post before my wife’s arrival.
Since last week, I started to thoroughly clean and fix my apartment. Not that the apartment was dirty or broken. To me, this is just a better idea to welcome my wife than throwing a bachelor party.
After finishing those baby tasks like wiping off dust in my living room and shining my bathtub, I had to face my kitchen. Honestly, I didn’t take care of it very well, partly because of lacking experience, and partly laziness. My oily Sichuan cooking was evident all over my cooking area. It took me in total 4-5 hours to rub off the residues on the induction stove, clean the cooking desk, and cover the desk with aluminum foil. So far, the tasks were accomplished by hard work rather than skill and gift.
Then comes the awesome part concerning the title of this post. My kitchen drain was half-clogged for a while. Though still functioning, I knew the nightmare of all kitchens was looming. I wanted to clean my washing area on Sunday, so Saturday night, I applied some Rohrfrei power-gel. Sunday morning, I poured some hot water in the drain, but water still flowed slowly. I kept pouring. After about 5 kettles, quite contrary to internet wisdom, it was fully clogged! On fucking nothing-is-working-except-god-and-google Sunday! Since I had no proper tool, I went jogging, and proved running away doesn’t solve anything. After some searching and mental preparing, I left work early today to buy tools. I couldn’t find a drain auger in OBI, and I forgot to check the German word for it. But a video ad with frustrating faces in front of clogged drains caught me immediately. It eventually led me to buy my first tool today–Drain Buster–an air pump.
Back home with all the hopes suggested by the jubilant actors at the end of the ad, I pumped my drain again and again for about an hour. Nothing changed. It was already 4 pm. I realized if I wanted to sleep well tonight, I had to find a drain auger. I asked some friends to find out how to say drain auger in German. Yet another amazing word–Rohrreinigungsswelle, or Rohrreinigungsspirale. OBI again, this time with some smooth conversation with staff, I found it, the ultimate solution I firmly believed in.
It’s a 4.5-meter manual auger. The blue box hides the long steel snake nicely. It’s easy to use, but still requires some trials to master it. Finally, I was able to push the snake through the second turn in my drain. I kept pushing and tried to feel the move inside the filthy complex. I didn’t detect the malicious clog, but I enjoyed pushing the snake forward, till I found that I have used all the 4.5 meters. Then I was seriously confused. The drain clog in my apartment can’t be 4.5 meters deep in the pipes. 4.5 meters, I must have reached downstairs, and somehow missed the clog. I poured some water, nothing changed yet. And even more terrifying at that moment was that I couldn’t pull it out! I guess the price is different for hiring a plumbing service and tearing down the whole drain system in wall. Fortunately, it turned out that if turning the snake in one direction is easy to push it in, turning it reversely will naturally pull it out. I dragged the snake out bit by bit. Maybe half way back, I heard the sound of flowing water. But even so, I didn’t feel water flowed anyhow faster from my basin. In the last part of pulling, I could smell something typically deep in sewer, and saw the gray, shining and filthy mud brought back by the auger. I have definitely gone too far, and in the end, I got only some little amount of hair at the head of the snake. The whole pushing and pulling action took me 1 hour or so. Still, nothing changed. Frustrated, and pondering if redoing it would help or it’s time to call a service, I started to use the pump again as a desperate, last-ditch effort. All of a sudden, I heard, like a sound from heaven, water rushed into the drain. I couldn’t recall exactly what was on my mind at that very moment. I was lifted. Some happy moments of my life quickly flashed, and in the end Obama kicked in to remind me this was the day Bin Laden was killed. I turned on my tap to let hot water go through the drain, flushing whatever was left in the drain and enjoying the sound of flow. Mission accomplished.
In highest spirits, I quickly cleaned the washing area and basin, restored everything.
A blog is like a shark. It must keep moving, or die…
Austria is not a country known for business creativity. Two shopping seasons a year with moderate discounts. Limited choice on almost any consumer products, and very limited supply of size S, if there is any in a real sense. Predictable sales in supermarkets. Sky-high price for electronic products. However, low house price. I am happily living here with all the inconveniences because I believe this is socialism. In reality, having observed these stubborn facts, my expectations had become reasonably low till two recent cases lit me up again.
I am looking for a new mobile phone subscription because my current one is about to expire. Bullshit! I just want an iPhone 4! I am now with Orange. It offers reasonable iPhone deals, among which the most attractive is iPhone 4 16G for €1 if you pay €39 monthly in the next two years. Under this contract you get free call minutes and SMS which nobody cares but enough for ten years or more, and most important to iPhone, 6 GB data per month. But this is ONLY for new customers. By definition, a new customer is a guy who signs a new contract and binds it to a phone number which isn’t bound to Orange currently. Sounds reasonable. But I am an old customer, so I checked the deals for old customers first. Then I realized how terrible I am to Orange as a customer. The only way I can get an iPhone and bind it to my current contract is to buy it from Orange Bonus Club. Big bonus, €549 just for the phone. On top of this, I have to pay €15 per month for a 3GB data package if I would like to use iPhone in the way suggested by Mr. Jobs as all other normal iPhone users do, plus €16 monthly fee of my current contract. You do the calculation. I have a very high brand loyalty. If I follow a brand, I hardly change, so I asked Orange how I can renew myself. The answer is simple–die, then I can be reborn. I have to end my contract, sign a new one and change to a new number. Well, I am more loyal to my number than to Orange. Under EU regulation, customers can switch between operators without changing number, so why on earth bother with Orange? Other operators also have good deals to new subscribers, although I heard they are equally unwilling to keep their old subscribers. Anyway, I reserved one from Drei (3). Don’t know if I will get it this year since its offers are the cheapest on the market. To summarize the Austrian operators’ approach to customers: you can switch from one operator to another easily and economically without changing phone number, but you cannot get the same benefits by switching from one contract to another within one operator. In other words, operators in Austria do their best to attract more users as all the reasonable operators in the world do. At the same time they also forcefully kick out old customers when their contracts end. €549 for an locked iPhone with useless contract is not a bonus, but a fine. This is against common sense of marketing. But on second thought, it is perfectly in line with socialism–operators share customers politely.
When I moved into this apartment, I found one switch didn’t work well. I fixed it but broke the frame of the switch plate.
My quest for a frame begins. I went to one local construction supermarket, and immediately noticed that the frames were all of one size, although there were several brands and models. The major differences are the color and the number of switches framed. To be clear, by different colors I mean something from white to off-wite, and light-grey to grey, certainly not orange, green, blue, pink, red, golden, or violet. For one moment there I was picturing in my mind that all the wall switches in Austria are of the same size, look almost the same, and presumably do the same thing. With a little reasoning you can further get a somewhat stunning conclusion that all the Austrian homes look similar because there are not many alternatives on anything needed for decoration. Surely for the locals home is not a place to be creative. I bought one without even taking out the broken frame in my pocket because I supposed if there was only one size, it must fit. Unfortunately, this would only happen in a perfect world, not a socialist one. I returned it, checked another market, found the very same and only size. In fact, I found the same brands and models in another market at the same price. Thank goodness this market uses another font to print price! I reported the situation to my landlord. She checked a couple of markets as well. No luck. But she shared with me the message from the markets about why no frame matches mine. The size of switches changes every some years, maybe ten, for pushing people to buy more switches. Thus only one size is kept available at one time. Very logical marketing. If one of my switches breaks, I am going to change it and all other 10+ switches in my flat because I can’t find the size anymore. If I refurbish my flat, I am not going to throw out all my old switches because they still fit. Sorry, my landlord and I share the same illogical view to this world. We decided just to glue the bloody frame.
暑假中和暑假后的一切都是在计划之中，连打工结束以后的轻松和轻松过后再次感受到学业的压力都在计划之中，打工以前就预料到了。想起来真无趣，我总是喜欢给自己安排这个安排那个，总是觉得应该这样应该那样，就像最近看的一个视频里面的一句话：They are the only animals who think they are supposed to be happy,while the other animals can just be.（http://youtube.com/watch?v=a15KgyXBX24）