Dryvember day seven brings you tales of Chinese banking, and the hoops we have to jump through. I’m going to go on a little rant here, but it really wasn’t all that bad. In fact, today was probably the most painless trip I’ve taken to a bank since I arrived her. Why is that? Well, because I didn’t do any actual banking.
For context: I’ve been trying to purchase my plane ticket home for the holidays. I want to use Delta because I want the skymiles. Don’t judge me. Anyway, I found the flight and tried to book it. Everything went swell until it came time to enter my card information. See, I want to use my Chinese card, but I didn’t know how to put in the mailing address. Strike one.
So, I contacted my liaison here at the university and asked if she could help. She gave the thumbs up and things started looking up. Ball one! I visited her office, and got to the same point I had before, and then STRIKE TWO! she couldn’t get it to work either.
Then, we decided to go to the bank itself and see what the billing address was. Maybe it was different from the school’s address, we thought. We considered that maybe there was a special way to input the address that we didn’t know about. So, off we went to the bank. It’s not far from the school.
Dryvember Day Seven Chinese Banking Cashless Option
At the bank we were dismayed to discover that only credit cards receive billing addresses, not debit cards. Can you guess which one I have? That would have been strike three, but my liaison wasn’t finished. She suggested I use the Alipay app (a popular e-commerce app in China), and I agreed. That third strike was a foul tip instead. We returned to her office and tried again.
Well, this time, dear readers I got strike three and was out. Yes, I can use alipay. And I can use it to buy plane tickets. Or rather, I would be able to if I were a Chinese national resident. But, as I am just a white man in a non-white world I can’t. Actually, my whiteness has nothing to do with it. It’s just that I am not a Chinese national.
So, we discussed other options, such as giving her the money and then she will buy the ticket. That is probably what I will end up doing. Or, I might do what I usually do and have my company buy the ticket and then garnish my wages. Either option is fine, but I want more control over my purchases. If I want to buy a plane ticket, I want to have that ability without asking someone else. But, such is the life of a foreigner in China (and other places, too I imagine.)
Not a Bad Day Just A Little Frustrating
Aside from these disappointing Chinese banking escapades Dryvember Day seven went well enough. I woke up early and enjoyed some coffee. I taught my classes, though in one class I taught them something they won’t need to know for a while. Why did I do that? I didn’t pay attention when I was planning and presented the future perfect passive rather than just the future simple passive. In my defense, the heading read: future and present perfect passive, so my mind combined them. Silly me. Oh well, it won’t hurt the students to know this.
So now I am at home, eating junk food and winding down. I worked on my short story a little today during office hours, which made me feel good. I am glad tomorrow’s Friday. No, I won’t be drinking, but at least the weekend will have arrived.
Oh, and yay me for making it through the first seven days of dry November without succumbing to the booze monster. Sure, I’ve eaten my share of sugary snacks over the course of the past week. But, that’s nothing new. Besides, I’m not doing this experiment for my physical health, though that’s a bonus. Rather, I’m staying dry this month for my mental health. And, despite today’s shenanigans, I’m doing pretty well on that front.
The shop on the school sells these delicious beasts. They’re terrible for me, I know, but I don’t care. They’re tasty as heck.
Thanks for reading, and let me know what’s up with you in the comments.