Today I start out with five photos – which I took on my 9 minute walk from our apartment to Starbucks. As I walked I was struck by ho much things must have changed in China in the last 36 years – or even less. From there I will go in to my own little rant.
*WWMT – What Would Mao Think?
I have a question for you to ponder. Who should be looked at with some suspect? One of these people who are still dressed for winter or me who is in shorts and golf shirt today? Oh, the temperature right now – 77/25 degrees.
Banking in China
Okay, now my rant. Terry has been thoroughly enjoying the TimeOut Shanghai magazine. So much so that she asked if I could get a subscription. No problem, I think, just go online, fill out a form, give them a credit card number and away we go. After all, it is media so they must be up to date with technology, right. Wrong. First of all they email me a Word document that is just a in table format. No big deal. I fill it out and send it back and then they send me an email asking if I want the 150rmb rate or the 180rmb rate for the year. The difference is that the first is that the magazine is sent by China Post and the second delivered by courier. The tell me that they don’t recommend the first rate as thy can’t guarantee delivery. Okay then, I choose courier. Then they ask how do I want to pay – give the courier the cash upon first delivery, deposit to their account or send bank draft. I say I’ll pay the courier. Oh sorry, because you are in Jiaxing and not Shanghai, you can’t do that. (Remember now, these are emails going back and forth). Okay then I will deposit it directly to the magazine’s account, so they send me the bank, branch and account number. Yesterday morning I go on a 3/4 hour search for another branch of the Bank of Communications. No luck. In the afternoon Terry and I go on another search and – Eureka! we find one.
When you go in, you are given a number, much like a butcher shop and you wait your turn – very civilized. I get some help from a lovely young woman who helped me fill out the deposit slip with the correct information. – Of the 7 tellers open, however, only three are actually taking “cash” customers. After a ten minute wait I get a teller who starts to process my 180rmb DEPOSIT ($30). This is looking good, I think (although why it is taking 10 minutes to make a deposit is beyond me). He calls over the woman who helped me and tells her he needs my passport. What? I need a passport to deposit money to someone else’s bank account? How does this make sens? After another 10 minutes discussion with the teller, a supervisor and the woman, I take my money back and go home. Frustrated? Your guess.
Today I go back with my passport for another round. Same woman sees me and helps me to the teller (different one – but same supervisor). It takes another twenty minutes to process this DEPOSIT! My passport? They did exactly what I thought they would do. They looked at it, asked me to print my name and sign the DEPOSIT slip and gave it back. Now I have to take a picture of the receipt and email it to the magazine and Terry will (I hope) start getting her magazine.