Saturday, April 04, 2009

How Chinese Is It?

E@L is sitting in the lounge-area of the living room, deeply absorbed in a book, his comfy chair is extended, his are legs up, resting his feet. There is no TV on, there is no CD or iPod playing. Flatmate Izzy, formerly famous person, is sitting cross-legged on the couch working on her laptop. Assignments in her graphic animation course are due.

The air-con had been set too low (how do I work this?) and it had been getting chilly so E@L turned it off a few minutes ago. Now it is totally quiet in the room.

The tap of fingers on the computer, the rustle of a page leaf ready to be turned...

Quiet? Well, mostly.

There is soft, low, wind-like howling sound that persists, humming around from an unplaceable, sub-sonic, general sort-of region around the bookshelves and chairs and antiques. It rises and falls slightly in volume and in pitch. It is the wind moaning in a forest storm, water groaning in a monastery's pipes, the growling breath at your feet of a dreaming dog. Once you hear it, you can't ignore it.

E@L has read the same sentence three time, six times. He puts down his book, annoyed at the continuing sussuration.

"Wish I'd bought a decent fucking wine-fridge," he says. "The fucking racket from this cheap crap is driving me crazy. I can't bloody-well concentrate."

"Oh, is that what that is?" asks Izzy.

With nowhere else to place it, a half-size wine fridge sits in the dining room side of the living area, sort of hidden behind a book-shelf. Its compression cycle seems to be on continuously.

"What did you think it was? Yeah, it's the wine-fridge. Christ, it howls all day and night, you must have heard it."

"I thought it was, you know," she says, "like, ghosts or something."

... [insert E@L's quizzical expression] ...

"You thought the place was haunted? You've been living here for over a year, thinking you were in a haunted house and it never bothered you to say anything?"

"Well, shit, you know, man."

Shaking his head is...



dibabear said...

So drink the wine and turn off the fridge. Problem solved.

I'm a student of the Orson Welles school of oenology*, "we will drink no wine before its time." [Looks at watch.] "It's time."

* Welles did a series of TV spots for Paul Masson in the '70s. That was his single line.

expat@large said...

The purpose of the wine fridge is not so much for extended cellaring - my God an 1854 Petrus! sort of thing. More to avoid 'the OMG I've made pasta vongole and there's nothing decent to drink' scenario! 'Run to the shop and buy a couple jeroboams of poorly stored red wine that have probably passed it after only 12 months post bottling.'

I had a rash of extremely tired reds when I first got to Singers. Found out that only some of the supermarkets and wine shops import their produce in chilled containers. Others might leave the wine to cook on the ship or on the dock or in storage before they display it proudly in their air-con stores. Cold Storage (one of the supermarkets here) does as it names suggests. The French syndicated Carrefour apparently does not except for the more expensive lines...

A wine at 'room temperature' means the room temperature in France, we say here. So slightly chilled reds straight out of the wine fridge are fine.

Life is too short to drink bad wine. Oh, it's time!

savannah said...

i thought i left a comment here, sugar...sigh...anyway, you've explained it, i think. how much wine are you holding? xoxox

Lost in Melbourne said...

Get the fridge looked at. I would have guessed a wine fridge should hardly need to run at all considering the required temp. Perhaps the humidity has done it in or the guts are iced up?

Or it could just be that with you opening the door all the time it is struggling to keep cool?

Lost in Melbourne said...

Shit, I just realised, the Chinese ghosts have discovered your wine stocks!

You need to adjust the Feng Shui of the room to encourage them away your wine and they should be happy taking up residence in Izzy's room.

expat@large said...

Scott it's just a cheap and nasty fridge is all. Ginger Nuts, the ghost cat of Christmas, still hasn't found it to piss upon.

It holds up to 64 bottles, Sav.

Istvanski said...

Could've been worse. Izzy may have thought it was a hum coming from a rogue vibrator on the loose.

expat@large said...

Istvanski: that's funnier than you think. When she left for her Hungry trip last year she forgot a vibrator somewhere, she couldn't remember where. On the couch, on the dining room table?

expat@large said...

Hungary. (I'm on a diet, can you tell?)

Unknown said...

Perhaps it's not the fridge. Maybe Ginger Nuts the ghost of Christmas Pissed found the ghost of Izzy's missing vibe?

expat@large said...

Jay: anything is possible in this house.

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