(Ed. note: It has come to our attention that with the somewhat sporadic postings lately, some of you thought we might have been on the missing Malaysian Airlines plane. Fear not, we are still here. We assume there is wide spread Chinese media coverage, but not reading or understanding much Chinese, we don’t know for sure.)
(Ed. note: Before the telling of the first vignette, a little information for you. The Chinese administration are incredibly supportive of both Terry and the program. They start each weekly meeting with “What problems do you have that we can help solve?” We really are very fortunate to be working with them.)
Terry has been experiencing an increasing degree of difficulties and frustration with her computer at work in the last little while. She has had the district techie in, he has replaced the original and then replaced the replacement, he has wiped it clean and started over etc. etc. However, it finally bubbled over the top on Wednesday afternoon. Here is her email to Mr. Zhao, the vice-principal of the Chinese school and her administrative partner on that side: (Ed. note: I don’t agree with some who thought it was a bit of a “hissy fit”.)
Hi Mr. Zhao. I used my “wiped” computer successfully for 20 minutes this morning before it crashed. I am so frustrated and fed up with time and work lost and not being able to count on my computer to do my job. Daisy called the techie again, and again he came and took my machine away. He has left me another computer which, of course, does not have the programs I use, so more time wasted downloading programs to access my files. The computer is in Chinese which adds to my frustration.
I don’t know what I have to do to get a computer that works but I MUST HAVE A COMPUTER THAT WORKS. I also don’t understand why the computer is not returned to the factory and replaced with another–it is brand new and it doesn’t work. Is that not considered defective? Why are we wasting my time and the techie’s time? This has been going on for weeks.
Surely neither Principal Xu or you or any of the adminstrators would be expected to work this way. Please tell me what I have to do to get a new computer.
Here is Mr. Zhao’s reply on Thursday morning:
Hi, Ms Watt. I am sincerely sorry to hear that another crash occurred on your computer, and the crash got you into a lot of trouble in your work. I am consulting with IT teachers, the techie and Principal Xu about it, and I will do what I can to solve this problem.
We decided to buy a new Apple computer for you, which maybe is better than what you used. I hope that it will help your work in the future. As you know, we have to place an order with some company for a new Apple computer, so there are a few days before the new computer arrives. I will ask them to send it to us as soon as possible.
Very Sorry to you for the computer crash.
Here is Friday’s delivery:
I was in Shanghai the other day for something or other and could not resist taking this photo of this lady. She was focused on something…
On Thursday afternoon, (this is Sunday afternoon) I heard some jack hammering outside our apartment. After two and a half days of hand digging, this is what we have:
With the beautiful spring weather we are having, Friday afternoon brought a couple of HUGE trucks (and one smaller one) to the display area at the mall. They unloaded a couple or three hundred scooters and waited for the customers to arrive – which they did. I am going to say that over the two days they sold 75 – 80% of them. They come in all sizes, colours and price ranges.
This little guy was a hoot. He was in the seat in front of us yesterday as we went across town to have dinner and a foot massage with Cheryl and Andy. For a good 15 minutes he could not take his eyes off me. He never drank from the bottle just sucked on the nipple, and if his mom got his attention for a second, he was right back staring at me. His mom kept trying to get him to stop, but to absolutely no avail.
After dinner we went to Cheryl and Andy’s local foot massage place where they are both very well known as a result of their frequent visits. For us, it was our second time there. We booked a 110 minute massage which covers feet, legs, and back. I had #126 – they don’t use names. Now, I need to be in the right space for a foot massage because I am very ticklish and I wasn’t in that space last night. After trying twice, she gave up and started working on almost every other part of my body – I say almost because there were six other people in the room (Terry, Cheryl, Andy and the three other “masseuses” – I don’t think they get actual training). She came VERY close to my entire body and then asked if I would like my ears done. I think she was looking for something to do since she couldn’t do my feet.
Now ear cleaning is quite common in China – you usually get it done when you get a shampoo and hair cut. However, Terry refuses to have it done, particularly since she once saw an employee using a Q-Tip on a customer with one hand while she (the employee) was reading her phone held in her other. Anyway, #126 shows up with a kit. She has Q-Tips, little metal scrapers, a skewer about 8 inches long with a brush on the end and her miner’s head light. It was quite the experience, I must say. Fortunately, I clean my own ears frequently so there was very little stuff to remove.
The Shoe Blog
Aaaahhhh Spring. With the better weather out come the more colorful shoes. This young woman was also at the train station when Terry and I came back last week. As Terry said, though, they may be nice looking shoes, but you notice she is sitting down.” (Ed. note: on some kind of electrical box and i didn’t notice but her friend, who also had high heels was standing next to her.)