February 12, 2010

A Good China Day

I accomplished all 4 errands I set out to do yesterday. While this doesn’t sound like a big deal to those living in the States, it’s a big deal in China. When we lived in the States, I could easily jump in my car and drive around town all morning running errands (go to the post office, hardware store, check my mobile phone account, buy groceries, etc.), but it’s more difficult in China. Why? I really don’t know.

So yesterday I set out for a morning of errands not knowing how successful the trip would be given we are approaching Chinese New Year and many businesses may or may not be open. First, I checked the local ma and pa hardware store looking for some long extension cords. And I found exactly what I needed! Success #1!

Next stop on the agenda, buy lunch. Now just last month I went out to get lunch and unexpectedly our favorite restaurant was closed, no reason given (the next day they were open, so who knows). This time, even so close to the holiday, the restaurant was open. Success #2!

Third, I stopped by the Harbin Bank to see about getting a debit card for the city buses. (Note: I had been to the bank twice before and on both occasions the debit card teller informed me she was unable to issue the cards because her computer system was down.) This time was different. I waited 5 minutes for the teller to finish lunch, and then was issued my very own bus card. I feel like such a native Harbiner now! Success #3!

Finally, I crossed the street to the Bank of China to hopefully withdraw money from my account. (Note: I had been to the bank the previous day only to find that no money had been deposited into our account just yet.) Today was a good day, the money was deposited. Success #4!

What a day! All errands were accomplished without requiring a second, or third, or fourth trip!

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