Learning how to say "excuse me" in Chinese has done wonders for my confidence. I was able to ask, at several little shops today, whether they had phone cards or not, without feeling like a rude laowai (foreign person). I never really knew how to get someone's attention without doing some sort of weird "ahem"/cough thing, or perhaps waving my arms around like a maniac. I hardly know any Chinese, but now being able to be polite can make up for some of my linguistic shortcomings. People seemed to smile a little more when I tried, at least I think so. It felt quite good.
Also, while I'm doing a short post (I know, hard to believe), I have NOT seen Tobias yet. I had a few inquiries and thought I would give an update. I promise I'll let you know the minute I see him. Also, the leak in the bathroom turned out to be from Old Mr. Wang's toilet upstairs, which I prefer not to contemplate too much. It is fixed now, so once we get the plaster redone and painted, should be good as new. At least for a while. The toilet and the washing machine are on the fritz though. Always, always, always something here!