Friday, 17 April 2009

Just a Little Rant

My joy at getting my internet back has been severely tempered by the realisation that I am having some sort of 'connectivity issue' that means that I can't upload photos to blogger or attach them to emails, log into facebook (a major inconvenience as that's how we arrange all our social activities) or access one of my favourite online UK newspapers. It's all very bizarre. I'm hoping that it will miraculously resolve itself, as my internet/network problems often do.

This is what I find so frustrating about China: how little things just end up being made so difficult. And something that, in various guises, has kept cropping up this week. Some of them are too long winded to go into, but a good example is getting paid. Now, when I have a job in the UK, my money gets paid into my bank account on the same day each month/week and I get an itemised pay slip so I can see if there are any mistakes. Here, I don't even know what day I'll get paid on for the month. When I do, I have to go and pick up my entire monthly wage in cash, from the accounts office. After waiting for fifteen minutes, being eyed by the other people there, I get handed my wage slip which I have to sign off (although I don't keep a copy and there's no explanation of how they work out how much I should be paid, it varies by about 200 yuan each month). Then I get handed my wodge of cash in front of everyone else there, much to their interest, and people blatantly peer to see how much I get paid and jabber about it amongst themselves.

Or the times when I just wish I could go to the supermarket, a local restaurant, or the gym without the continual staring, pointing and shouting...*sigh*

Oh well, at least I'm getting paid! I think I need to have a few Friday beers to that's what I'm off to do.


  1. Enjoy your beer! The rum did work it's magic for me last night!

    I guess it's a good thing you get paid period... but that would be freakin me out too.

  2. I hope you get your internet problem fixed, its a pest when things don't work properly.

  3. You would think people would complain loudly about not getting their paychecks on time. One can only guess that years of oppression have cowed them.
    I don't think you'll get past people noticing you on the street. You're just too much of a novelty.

  4. Thanks for your messages! I'm hoping now that things are back to normal. *crosses fingers*

  5. Oh... enjoy the frustration!

    I don't say that to diminish your feelings. I've lived in a foreign country as well and completely understand the frustration of cultural difference.

    But I am saying it to remind you that you are living an interesting adventure and I'd rather read about how you get paid (or not!) in China than how Joe Blow gets paid in my own culture... and I'm sure it's more interesting to you to write about as well... if you see what I'm saying.

    It's all those frustrations that make it all so interesting... though I'll admit they are much more interesting to read about ;-) or feel nostalgia for than to experience in life, right this very moment!

    And beer is a wonderful thing! Enjoy!