Sunday, August 5, 2007

You wonder why we drink.....

Lets see how frustrated two A type personalities can get in one day... If you were to visit China, you would be able to purchase, flat screen T.V's, all types of mobile phones, SUV's, and I could go on, however, the problem is that when dealing with Chinese internal process you need to think of the 1950's or there about. Okay I wasn't around back then, but I know for a fact online banking, wasn't around. It took us from 9:30am - 4pm to buy 1 cell phone, attempt to open a bank account, and finalize the details for our apartment.

Today, Rocky escorted us to the China Bank where we were to set up our bank account. Sounds fairly easy right? We grab our number and wait in line to go to the teller, just like the old days. We walk up only to find out we need to fill out a long form. Okay, so off we go to fill this form out, but it has only one spot for one name. When I approached Rocky with the obvious, and said, how do we open a joint account, we come to find out you can't. We each have to open an account, or it is under one name. You get a bank book..okay really does anyone remember those from the 60's, and and one debit card, not two but one. So one person has to go into, yes, into the bank and the other has the luxury of going to the ATM machine. Okay, so that wasn't going to work for now and decided to change our US dollars to RMB as we need 4 months rent up front. We waited another 20 minutes, because the teller had to fill out 4 other forms, then get her supervisor over as she didn't have the ability change the money. Out Mark goes with a gray bag stuffed full of RNB.

Okay, so onward to purchasing cell phones. We both knew what we wanted, so it was a matter of just purchasing the phones.....or so we thought. We go to Carrefour, which is similiar to Walmart but French style. I was able to get my phone, but the store didn't have the phone that Mark wanted. I purchase my phone, pay by credit card, and the salesperson rings up the sale. Behind this gal, is another sales person who gives you the receipt, along with phone. You must keep the receipt out, similiar to Costco, to prove that you paid for your items. After you leave there is a counter where you get yet another receipt because you had to turn in your receipt they gave you earlier. You think we're done right, wrong. Off we go to China Mobile, where you have to go and get your SIM card as they are not in the phones when you purchase them. You pick out your phone number and then they call in the number to register your phone. Now how do we pay for the phone. That took 20 minutes to explain to Rocky to explain to China Mobile that we want a card that we can just add an amount to the card. Finally after 1 1/2 hours of getting our SIM cards and phone cards, we were off to finalize the apartment.

Make a long story short, there were 7 people trying to figure out, how to pay for the management fees, internet, and utilities. That took another 2 hours of conversation but we finally got it figured out, or so we think. The good news is that the kitchen was completed.

The beauty of us is that we each took turns becoming frustrated while the other attempted to communicate what we really wanted.

Heads up for anyone moving to China, while packing your clothes pack your patience with you as well.

1 comment:

Mom and Dad W said...

You both seem to be handling frustations very well. We can not send you any patience as we need all we can get for here at home.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for you though. . . . The light at the end of the short tunnel is your shiny new apartment where you can settle in and have a "home" . . . .

The light at the end of the longer tunnel is 1/1/09. . . . when you will be back in North America and life will resume as it was BC (Before China)