Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday, 3 September

Another drizzly day in Yantai but great jeans weather!

Gotta love the Chinese-way. We had money wired to BOC (Bank of China) on August 20 per BOC’s instructions. We were told it would take a week to get posted. Sure enough, on the 27th we got confirmation that the money had arrived with my name and customer number identified but since it didn’t have my account number, we couldn’t get the money. [FYI: joint accounts evidently don’t exist!] So another email was sent to our bank requesting they identify which account. That took yet another week! So today we got confirmation that the money is in my account. I STILL can’t get to it--it’s in U.S. dollars. We have to have our passports to switch money from USD to yuan. We went to the police station on the 26th to get our resident permits and they kept our passports. At 4pm today, we finally got our passports back. We got to the bank by 4.30 but it was too late so I have to go back tomorrow--yes, Saturday the banks are open. The moral of this story is--carry lots of cash!

Otherwise it has been an unremarkable day. We took Chang with us to the bank. In the event the money hadn’t been posted, Chang’s mother was going to go to bat for us. She is a force to be reckoned with! But, fortunately such last ditch efforts were not required. Instead we made arrangements to have dinner with Chang and Ping. Anqi was supposed to join us, too, but got caught at Jusco (shopping center) instead.

Some last minute scheduling changes occurred at school--does this sound familiar?? Andy’s schedule remained the same but I lost 2 oral English classes which were replaced by a 2 hour English writing class for the 2 (yes, 2!) students in the most advanced class. I’m in tears (of joy!) over this event.

We did make another stop at the local grocery knowing that we had money in the bank. Picked up some school supplies as well as peanut butter for Andy and a bottle of wine for me--not sure who’s cost less per ounce!!

I worked with Anqi tonight on prepping for her TOEFL (English as a 2nd language) test and Andy will provide another session tomorrow morning. While he’s busy with Anqi, I’ll be meeting with some parents about 3 middle school students who need an English tutor. That will keep me busy on Saturday mornings for a while!

That’s all the excitement one can handle for a day!! We will post more tomorrow and Sunday we have been invited to a 5 star restaurant here in Yantai (Chang’s mom strikes again!). Full report to follow.

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