Saturday, March 07, 2009

One down, one to go

2 things that are absurdly hard in Taiwan: getting stuff fixed on your scooter when it still runs without fixing them, and going to the bank.

Today (with Jasmine's help) I got my exhaust pipe checked, new front suspension things (shock? strut?) a new battery and starter thingy, plus something else. Some kind of filter? The scooter guy took it out and it was covered in crud. He was like, "It's terrible!" I laughed and said, it is! I asked him if he'd ever seen one that terrible before, and he said very seldom. I guess I should change it ever 6 months? Who knew. But it's all fixed now. It's just so weird how you can't convince scooter guys to fix stuff unless your scooter is actually not running. Even Jasmine kept asking the guy how much stuff would cost. I kept saying, if it's under $5000, I don't care. If he charges me double, I don't care. I just want this stuff fixed! It's so nice to be confident my scooter will start. :)

Banking hasn't gone so well. They don't really do checks in Taiwan so you have to wire rent money to your landlord. I got a bunch of slips filled out for the bank I went to in Fong Yuan so it used to be not so bad, but now I can only go to the bank on my lunch hour so I went to one near work. I waited for like 20 minutes, and a guy helped me fill out the form but when my number was called they said I had to fill in other stuff which of course I couldn't read. So the next day I got a couple of people at work to help me and thought I had it. I went back to the bank, waited again, the guy took my money and my slip. I aksed him if it was all OK, he said yes. Are you sure there's no problem, I asked. No. All in Chinese of course. But after work I had a voice message from the bank- I got Jasmine to translate and it's something to the effect of something was wrong on the form and I have to come back so they can give me my money back. I seriously don't know how I'm going to pay my rent. I think I'll have to get Jasmine to do it for me but I hate to do that because it's such a pain. Eventually I'll find an OK bank and if you get it to work once the next times are easy but it's this first time that kills me. It's so weird, like the bank I used to use to wire money back home, there's never a wait and the people are polite and helpful and there's always someone who speaks English. But you never know where you will find a bank like that. At most of them there are a dozen windows and like 3 open and the people are rude and all they can say in English is "Write here" and act like that's a big help. Gah. Luckily I don't have enough Chinese to tell people off in Chinese so I stay polite.

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