I realized a long time ago… but today just reminded me of how things in China take so long and so complicated to do. It makes you miss the American ways of efficiency so much.
Today, I needed to deposit money in the account of the factory that will be making my wedding dress for my wedding party in October. As I mentioned before, I am by law already married but I need to have the big wedding party .. which will be held in October. Anyway.. do to my enormous size 14 butt.. I must have my dress made. Which isn’t as bad as it sounds because with the veil and dress all together it will only cost me 900 rmb which includes shipping ($132 respectfully) .. not bad huh? Anyway.. payment must be made in cash to the company by just depositing the money in their bank account since I am in China.
In theory this should be easy.. just go to the bank with the account number and person’s name and deposit the money. However, this is China.. so things are not so easily done. Of course…
I decided to take a co-worker with me just in case I needed her translating skills and we headed to the main office of the bank. After waiting for our number to be called… (only about 10 minutes) .. we quickly went to the window to deposit the money. However, when we showed the gentleman behind the glass our paper and told him what we wanted to do.. he said that he needed the name to be in Chinese Character not English letters or (pinyin) … as my friend was going to write the words in Chinese for them.. he quickly said that if the actual letters are not correct he can’t do it. I questioned this… I said why can’t he just use the account number?… but he said.. it is required to use both name and account number.. and he refused to deposit the money… He did say an alternative would be to put the money in the ATM. I told him I have no card to this bank and how am I suppose to deposit it. He stated we didn’t need a card… (this I didn’t believe) So, we found a manager and asked her… she agreed we could put the money in the ATM under the account number however, the money needs to be new… and have nothing written on them. (as if there can be anything else that goes wrong) … so she looked at my money to see if it was new enough… and told me it “might” work.. but we are taking a risk of it being deposited in the wrong account. ( what the…?) I rolled my eyes and said okay.. fine… I was sure I copied the number correctly anyway.
Then we went to the machine and starting entering the numbers…. However the numbers were not showing up on the screen correctly… The manager, who was still standing beside us… stated that the account number should be 19 digits long… and the account number I had was 24 digits… she said .. it is obviously wrong. I was now frustrated with the entire situation. I told them forget it and thank you .. and left the bank.
I then had to go back to my office and send an email to the factory stating that all the information he gave me was wrong…. Ughhhh…. As I wait for his reply.. it made me think of another situation where I was trying to send money via western union to my daughter.
I first had to go to my bank and change the RMB to American dollars.. I then had to take a taxi to another bank that has western union service… and complete the paper work for the money to be sent.. stating why I was sending money out of China. I was a bit frustrated when I wrote that my daughter lives in Missouri.. and I was told by the bank clerk that there was no state with that name. I informed them that I was from the states and I should know what states there are in the union. I insisted for about 15 minutes that Missouri was indeed a state and that was where I wanted the money to be sent. Evidently, there are only California, New York, Texas, Florida and Chicago.. as states in America… I was not happy that day…It took them more than 1.5 hours to send the money to my daughter. I think the next time I should bring a map of the United States with me when I go.
I guess I will attempt to send the money for my wedding dress again tomorrow morning.. I hope that the factory sends me the correct information, this time.
All of this is not unusual for China… everytime you go to do anything .. from the bank, supermarket, cell phone company, electric bill payment bank… it takes an extensive amount of time and energy to complete the task.
My friend told me that these are government jobs.. and the salary is very high…I stated the knowledge is very low.. sad isn’t it…
I wanted to end this blog with a photo of my pending wedding gown… please be aware that I chose a very, light yellow color instead of white and corset lacing instead of buttons down the back.. (i look big enough in China a white dress would not help at all) Hopefully, I will actually get the payment sent tomorrow and receive the hand-made dress in 20 days. What do you think about my style and taste? Let me know….
Until next time….