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Another Wasted Day in China

by CallieDawn on October 13, 2010

OK, I don’t really mean it.  It wasn’t wasted completely.  It just seems that I will often lose a day to learning how to get something done as opposed to actually getting it done.  Living in another country there are a lot of unknowns.   It takes a little time to figure out how to make things happen, and there can easily be miscommunications and errors with not knowing the main language.

Like yesterday for example.  I spent a few hours creating an ad that offers mine and Jason’s tutoring services to people locally wanting to learn English.  And if I do say so myself, it was a beautiful ad.  In addition to this Jason and I invested several hours to take the long trek to Costco and back to obtain a membership and buy some groceries.  Like in North America Costco has a lot of standardized products and conveniences that are very familiar which makes shopping there really easy and very comforting. All in all these two agenda items accounted for about half of my day.

After journeying to Costco, applying for and going through the membership process, having a bite to eat at the infamous Costco cafeteria, collecting our groceries which took about an hour in a half (sorry Jason) we were now standing at the till ready to pay for our familiar comforting food items including a giant bag of peanut M and M’s.  Everything is scanned in, we hand over the magic plastic card, and then boom…the clerks face darkens.  She looks at us and in something that sounded similar to English said “Do you have another card? No Master Card.”  WHAT!?!?  This may be obvious to some of you who have a Costco membership back home but I didn’t have one till yesterday.  And being the savvy shopper that I am I actually took the time, to inquire abut the methods of payment prior to obtaining the membership to make sure that we could pay for our groceries.  Well, apparently the new girl made a little error.

Oh well, at least we had gotten to experience the delicious salad and clam chowder since we did travel over an hour to get there!?!?

So we journey back a 1000 miles to get home to our area of town.  Now for printing the ads.  If you have never lived in Taiwan before, you wouldn’t know this, but the 7-11 actually acts as the local mini mall too.  You can, buy concert tickets, train tickets, alcohol, cigarettes, coffee shop coffee, hot meals, do your banking, pay your bills, eat your lunch at the tables they provide, use wireless internet, and of course get your printing done as well.  In fact it’s the only place to get your printing done!?!?  In we go equipped with our thumb drive and a copy of our ad saved in a version of word, extension .doc.  I was smart enough to know not to save it in .docx as less places are equipped with the newer software to read .docx.  Again, I’m on it…thinking ahead, asking the right questions and being prepared, right?  Wrong.

At the end of my day I had no groceries from Costco and no ads to put up in our building, as they couldn’t read the .doc file I had saved.  (Sigh.)  Oh well, what to do?

Now that I have suggested you feel sorry for me and are starting to wonder about the number of crying opportunities I have in a day, I’ll tell you the good part.  The win is this.  A couple weeks ago I didn’t even know where to print a document, I mean who would think that 7-11 doubles as Staples?  A couple of weeks ago I got lost on the bus en route to Costco, and was denied to get on a bus more then once by different drivers.  And a couple of weeks ago I didn’t have any idea where to find the grocery items that I did located at Costco yesterday.  These simple things are huge!  I love the learning curve, when I’m not crying from frustration.  I love the newness, the thinking involved the level at which I have to engage a simple task.  It has taken me off of autopilot and in to full operation, and I really like full operation!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Timm Ananda Lawson October 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I feel like I was there with you. I love the fact that you all are sharing this experience! I love and miss you all.


CallieDawn October 15, 2010 at 8:25 am

Miss you and Michelle too Timm! Lots of Love from across the globe.


Hunter October 14, 2010 at 2:48 am

Sounds great. It really shakes us up doesn’t it. New things from old habits. Think of all the synapses that are forming.

Winter is portending in Vancouver.


CallieDawn October 15, 2010 at 8:27 am

Hunter that is exactly what I was thinking my brain is working hard! Oh well I don’t think I can have to many synapses pathways, assuming I’m not using them unnecessarily of course. Love.


Pam October 14, 2010 at 11:52 pm

OMG I had to stop reading in order to get a tissue because I was laughing so hard the tears were blurring my vision! Thank you dear one for the humor (and tears) that is occurring in your life!

It is 85 in San Francisco…maybe Vancouver can blow some cooler air south?!

Big virtual hugs for you both~


CallieDawn October 15, 2010 at 8:24 am

Thanks Pam! Wishing you cool air from the North…or where ever really…but cool. XO Callie


Bev October 18, 2010 at 10:59 pm

just a note – I don’t know how I came across your site…and blog…oh yes, a friend sent it to me.
My husband and I are also in Taipei…we’re also life coaches. Where are you living?
We are in Danshui – drop me a line at above email.
Take care – and welcome!


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