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WhiteGhost Saw it on Mulberry Street


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WOW And I thought our DMVs were terrible!!  That is a whole new level of WTFery.  That sounds STRESSFUL and I'm sorry. :(

 

Also poor Wraith omggggg Wraith you gotta BEHAVE if you want some freedom!!!!

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23 hours ago, TimovieMan said:

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What about bureaucratic twister?  That sounds like a party

 

22 hours ago, Lara said:

Aj, bureaucracy is the worst. Hope you will have more luck next time.

Thank you, it is frustrating for sure

 

19 hours ago, shaar said:

WOW And I thought our DMVs were terrible!!  That is a whole new level of WTFery.  That sounds STRESSFUL and I'm sorry. :(

 

Also poor Wraith omggggg Wraith you gotta BEHAVE if you want some freedom!!!!

Oh, it gets better, just see below...

 

------------------------------------

 

The saga continues

 

So yesterday left off with the entry/exit bureau telling me that their registration certificates are only good for the day they are issued and to call them in advance on the day when they need it done.

 

Yesterday I give them a call and tell them that I would like to come in and get my registration printed and they say "yeah, you told us yesterday, it is already ready, where are you?"  So I hop in the car and drive over there and they tell me to wait because they need to get it ready.  I tell them that the person on the hone told me it was already ready and they just shrug and say the person responsible is in a different building and I just have to wait.  About 30 minutes later, the officer comes in with a handwritten note with my registration information on it and gives it to me.  He then tells me that this is all supposed to be digital now and has me download the official extry/exit app.  In the app I can bring up my registration certificate and he says I just need to show this app at the drivers license division.  If they need a hard copy I can just print it from the app (but they shouldn't need it).

 

So I head back over to the drivers license division but they completely deny everything the officer from the entry/exit department just said.  When I explained that everything is digital these days they just laughed and said "look. we do this every day and everybody that comes in has a certificate printed by the police department except you.  You are clearly doing things wrong.  I ask if they would accept the form printed from the app, but they don't unless it has the official chop from the police department.  A quick phone call later I knew that the police department won't chop the form because it is issued by the entry/exit department and needs their chop 

 

BUT

 

Plot twist:  I kept the handwritten note (with the official chop on it) and, even though the drivers license division wasn't happy about it and called it "highly irregular" they still accepted it.  So I was able to get my drivers license renewed successfully and this one doesn't have an expiration date.  The only 2 caveats are 1) that when I turn 70 I need to come in for a physical to make sure I can still drive and 2) if my passport number changes I need to come in again to renew

 

Luckily my passport doesn't expire until... next year... 

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That's infuriating.

 

The nillies called. They want their paper certificates back.

It's 2023, for god's sake, go digital!

 

I have the same issue with the temporary unemployment I had these previous few weeks. While I don't have to jump through so many bureaucratic hoops as you do, I still have to keep a paper "unemployment stamp card" that I have to drop in personally (or send by post) at the end of the month. Despite being able to log into their site with my credentials and having all my other documents there digitally.

"Why yes, you can fill out these registration forms digitally and email them to us. But not that card. We need that on paper." Wut?

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1 hour ago, WhiteGhost said:

So yesterday left off with the entry/exit bureau telling me that their registration certificates are only good for the day they are issued and to call them in advance on the day when they need it done.

 

Yesterday I give them a call and tell them that I would like to come in and get my registration printed and they say "yeah, you told us yesterday, it is already ready, where are you?"  So I hop in the car and drive over there and they tell me to wait because they need to get it ready.  I tell them that the person on the hone told me it was already ready and they just shrug and say the person responsible is in a different building and I just have to wait.  About 30 minutes later, the officer comes in with a handwritten note with my registration information on it and gives it to me.  He then tells me that this is all supposed to be digital now and has me download the official extry/exit app.  In the app I can bring up my registration certificate and he says I just need to show this app at the drivers license division.  If they need a hard copy I can just print it from the app (but they shouldn't need it).

 

So I head back over to the drivers license division but they completely deny everything the officer from the entry/exit department just said.  When I explained that everything is digital these days they just laughed and said "look. we do this every day and everybody that comes in has a certificate printed by the police department except you.  You are clearly doing things wrong.  I ask if they would accept the form printed from the app, but they don't unless it has the official chop from the police department.  A quick phone call later I knew that the police department won't chop the form because it is issued by the entry/exit department and needs their chop 

 

BUT

 

Plot twist:  I kept the handwritten note (with the official chop on it) and, even though the drivers license division wasn't happy about it and called it "highly irregular" they still accepted it.  So I was able to get my drivers license renewed successfully and this one doesn't have an expiration date.  The only 2 caveats are 1) that when I turn 70 I need to come in for a physical to make sure I can still drive and 2) if my passport number changes I need to come in again to renew

 

Luckily my passport doesn't expire until... next year... 

Dear god, the hell of that ordeal. Um, at least you have until next year to.. uh... convince them your paperwork is legit? :D 

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3 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

So I head back over to the drivers license division but they completely deny everything the officer from the entry/exit department just said.  When I explained that everything is digital these days they just laughed and said "look. we do this every day and everybody that comes in has a certificate printed by the police department except you.  You are clearly doing things wrong.  I ask if they would accept the form printed from the app, but they don't unless it has the official chop from the police department.  A quick phone call later I knew that the police department won't chop the form because it is issued by the entry/exit department and needs their chop 

Do you think maybe they were just screwing with you cause you're a foriegner?

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4 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Do you think maybe they were just screwing with you cause you're a foriegner?

I wonder about this, too. What a waste of time, effort, and emotion. I am sorry you are dealing with this, WhiteGhost. 

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Oh wowie that made me ANGRY to read!! What a bureaucratic pain in the ass.  And rude to boot......... 

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18 hours ago, TimovieMan said:

That's infuriating.

 

The nillies called. They want their paper certificates back.

It's 2023, for god's sake, go digital!

 

I have the same issue with the temporary unemployment I had these previous few weeks. While I don't have to jump through so many bureaucratic hoops as you do, I still have to keep a paper "unemployment stamp card" that I have to drop in personally (or send by post) at the end of the month. Despite being able to log into their site with my credentials and having all my other documents there digitally.

"Why yes, you can fill out these registration forms digitally and email them to us. But not that card. We need that on paper." Wut?

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Having some parts digital and the other analog makes it really challenging.  I think Gorbachev's analogy about glasnost fits well here:  "It is like gradually changing from left side driving to right side driving"

 

17 hours ago, Rhovaniel said:

Dear god, the hell of that ordeal. Um, at least you have until next year to.. uh... convince them your paperwork is legit? :D 

Who knows what the world is going to look like in one year.  Honestly I will be kind of surprised if there isn't a war going on involving a certain "breakaway province"

 

16 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Do you think maybe they were just screwing with you cause you're a foriegner?

Nope, I am 100% sure that isn't it.  For the most part* the people I have been working with have been trying to helpful and in most cases their advice would have been accurate.  I just happened to fall into a certain  scenario in which a particular office (*cough*the police station for my neighborhood*cough*) I was dealing with was, lets say, "exceptional".  

 

* I am not convinced the entry/exit bureau wasn't messing with me, but in their case I think it was more about being American than being a foreigner

 

11 hours ago, Sovalis said:

I wonder about this, too. What a waste of time, effort, and emotion. I am sorry you are dealing with this, WhiteGhost. 

Thanks, but that's just the nature of the beast here.  I was regaling Ghostess with my stories and her response was "you think that was bad, let me tell you about some real horror stories dealing with the bureaucracy here.  It really isn't about being Chinese/foreigner as it is the government here is notorious for being awful at managing bureaucracy

 

10 hours ago, shaar said:

Oh wowie that made me ANGRY to read!! What a bureaucratic pain in the ass.  And rude to boot......... 

By the third day of this I had already found zen and was able to just laugh my way through it  No point in getting angry, it doesn't help anything move faster and, as we all know, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering... :D 

 

---------------------------------------------------

 

Yesterday morning, Ghostess and I headed over to the hospital.  She did her microwave therapy on her shoulder and I went and had a talk with a specialist.  I have complained here in the past that China doesn't have physical therapists like in the west and you have to just go to a regular hospital,  Well, it turns out that not too far from our house is a hospital that specialized in physical therapy

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If you can't read that text, it says "Chinese Olympic Committee Designated Hospital for National Athlete"  This is one of the places the Olympic athletes can come for therapy when they get injured.  I mean, just look at the reception area

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They have more equipment there than most commercial gyms

 

The best part was when I got in to see the doctor he of course asks me where hurts.  When I start with "every time I get into a handstand position..."  his eyes light up and he says "ah, an athlete :) "  He was clearly tired of dealing with old folks who have injured their hip falling down :D   I ended up getting an MRI on both my wrists but it seems it is only some mild inflammation and I don't need any therapy, just some rest and a salve compress for a few weeks.  

 

Folks, I have a weakness, and that weakness is for spicy crawdads.  Yesterday was Friday and Friday is pizza day.  Ghostlet and I each had an extra large (14 inch) pizza for dinner but when Ghostess got home she said she was in the mood for some crawdads and asked if I wanted some.  I was already quite full from the pizza but I still caved to my weakness and I also ate several trays of crawdads

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This is why I can't ever seem to lose any weight :D 

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3 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

The best part was when I got in to see the doctor he of course asks me where hurts.  When I start with "every time I get into a handstand position..." 

Hahaha, what a cool conversation :D

 

Being injured sucks 😕 Wish you and your wife fully recover soon! Maybe I need to go to this kind of a hospital too, because it doesn't seem like my back is getting any better 😕 (I f...ed it up at the gym, too much weight, too soon).

 

Where do you buy pizza? I think pizza in China is not so good, I don't like it at all.

 

Btw, I don't know if you're aware but you have your old challenge under your avatar.

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On 4/22/2023 at 1:09 PM, XBlackWidowX said:

Where do you buy pizza? I think pizza in China is not so good, I don't like it at all.

There are only 2 places I will get pizza from:  Papa John's and Tube Station.  Everything else is localized beyond recognition and heretical to aficionados of traditional American pizza.  I don't think Tube station exists outside of Beijing and Shanghai, though.  If you have Papa John's there, they do a pretty good job of keeping things authentic.

 

On 4/22/2023 at 1:09 PM, XBlackWidowX said:

Btw, I don't know if you're aware but you have your old challenge under your avatar.

Thanks, I knew but was too lazy to bother updating it.  It is now current :D 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------

 

Yesterday my MIL came over for the first time since covid began.  She lives in the building next to us, but she is high risk and has therefore been hypervigilant about minimizing exposure.  So far neither she nor my FIL have gotten it.  she been almost completely isolating for the last 3 years and is only now starting to come out.  It was fun to show her around the house and let her see all of the changes since she was here last (new cats, tons of furniture changes, for her it was almost like she had never been here before.  Especially given that Ghostess loves to change things up regularly and we are always rearranging furniture or swapping things out.

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On 4/22/2023 at 4:08 AM, WhiteGhost said:

you think that was bad, let me tell you about some real horror stories

Yours was quite the horror story, to be honest, even if they were nice.

 

3 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

So far neither she nor my FIL have gotten it

They really did a good job. I don't think I know anyone who hasn't gone through it, except my parents, and they almost never leave their house.

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On 4/21/2023 at 10:08 PM, WhiteGhost said:

several trays of crawdads

 

Holy crap that is a LOT OF CRAWDADS!  I've never had one, they intimidate me hahahaha

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16 hours ago, Lara said:

Yours was quite the horror story, to be honest, even if they were nice.

Oh, for sure.  I was just pointing out that everyone has a horror story of some kind when dealing with the bureaucracy here.  

 

16 hours ago, Lara said:

They really did a good job. I don't think I know anyone who hasn't gone through it, except my parents, and they almost never leave their house.

They almost never leave the house either, and when they do they are double masking and when they come back spraying themselves down with disinfectant and gargling salt water...

 

13 hours ago, shaar said:

 

Holy crap that is a LOT OF CRAWDADS!  I've never had one, they intimidate me hahahaha

That was pretty mild for me.  I have been known to down more than a hundred in a single sitting :D   In fact, the story of when I had my first one is a pretty good story unto itself.

 

-------------------------------

 

Yesterday was Sunday, but thanks to the government policy of needlessly rearranging holidays around it was a also a work day.  Or more importantly a school day.  Abd quite possibly, the single* most important school day of Ghostlet's life.  You see, in the Chinese school system, people often look at the university entrance exam as the single most important day in a student's life.  This is a reasonable view, given that that day (or series of days as it takes 3 days to do the test) is the single determination on which university you can go to, and that is directly correlated with what jobs will be available to you after graduation.  HOWEVER, I think this view is wrong.  Sure, picking your university is important, but even those who score poorly on the exam can get into some university, just maybe not a great one.  The high school entrance exam, on the other hand is far more influential on a student's life.  The average high school acceptance rate here is only about 50% so if you perform poorly on the high school exam, you are very likely not going to even get into high school at all.  For the more ambitious of those kids, there are trade schools or international programs they can get into, but for the others they are doomed to a life of unskilled labor or work in the service industry (usually a delivery person)

 

Yesterday was not, however, the high school entrance exam.  Yesterday was practice test 1 (out of two) for the high school entrance exam.  For most kids, this is just a way to get a feeling for how the test will run and what kinds of questions will be on it.  For Ghostlet, though, he can't get into a regular high school so his actual exam is not that important.  The schools he is looking to get into start recruiting next week and use the Practice Test 1 scroes as the basis for their admissions.  The practice test is a 4 day battery consisting of 9 subjects (Geography and Biology were already tested last year).  Yesterday was the first day of the exams, but the first test of the day was Chinese, which is Ghostlet's hardest subject.  Excluding Chinese, he typically scores in the top 10% of his age group citywide.  If you add in Chinese, that drops to top 25%.  In order to really do well on this test battery, that is the test he really needs to perform well on, which is why I call it the single most important day in his school career.

 

* not including last Wednesday.  Last Wednesday was the school's physical examination day, in which the kids all go get a comprehensive checkup.  I am not sure how it is used, but if you miss that physical, you are disqualified from taking the entrance exam altogether.

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When you began talking about Ghostlet and the university entrance exam I had this thought "oh, god, how did time go this fast???!!!". Fortunately I haven't missed that much, fiuuuu.

I remember once when you explained how the education system works in China, and how decisive is to get to a good high school or even school to get assured you'll get into a university, and how hard everything is. It was mindblowing. Specially since we are in the opposite side here (what's happening with the education system here is nonsense and sad, I sometimes wonder how will I help Wolvie with it).

Best of luck to Ghostlet! I'm sure he did his best. Tell us how it goes.

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On 4/22/2023 at 4:08 AM, WhiteGhost said:

The best part was when I got in to see the doctor he of course asks me where hurts.  When I start with "every time I get into a handstand position..."  his eyes light up and he says "ah, an athlete :) "  He was clearly tired of dealing with old folks who have injured their hip falling down :D 

Loving this. 🙂

 

On 4/22/2023 at 7:09 AM, XBlackWidowX said:

Where do you buy pizza? I think pizza in China is not so good, I don't like it at all.

Is that because they're adapted to local tastes and - for East Asia - even lactose intolerance?

 

 

 

Yikes, how stressful is that whole entrance exam thing then? 😲😧

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OOf, that is a lot of pressure on students! Hope Ghostlet does really well on his exams!

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11 hours ago, TimovieMan said:

Is that because they're adapted to local tastes and - for East Asia - even lactose intolerance?

Hmm I don't think so. I love all local tastes above all, I don't eat any foreign food except for sandwiches. But pizza here is somehow... tasteless. Maybe they don't know how to make it. Or they want to save some money on the ingredients and they're not so fresh? It can also affect the taste, I guess.

 

11 hours ago, TimovieMan said:

Yikes, how stressful is that whole entrance exam thing then? 😲😧

Very. In many high schools they have classes and self-study time (but you can't do anything but studying during the self-study time) 7:00-21:00. In some schools there is no weekend, they go to school every day. I think if it was like this in Europe/America most people would have a breakdown. Chinese people are a really tough nation.

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7 hours ago, XBlackWidowX said:

I think if it was like this in Europe/America most people would have a breakdown. Chinese people are a really tough nation.

Actually in Europe/America they've rebelled against that very situation 100-150 years ago... 😅

 

Wouldn't that make the Chinese people more willing to put up with crap??? 😇🤣

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5 hours ago, XBlackWidowX said:

Oh really, was it the same in Europe/America? I didn't know that.

 

Not in all European countries, but yes, in some of them that was most certainly the case. I think, though I could be wrong as these history lessons were a while ago, that one of the main reasons for the changes was the uncomfortable discovery that students learned every single thing they needed to learn for acing tests, and after graduation that was all they knew. Applying your knowledge to a wider field and extrapolate so you can apply it to your new job? Nope. School had overlooked that part, and that was impractical, so changes were made.

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On 4/26/2023 at 8:40 AM, XBlackWidowX said:

Chinese people are a really tough nation.

On 4/26/2023 at 3:57 PM, TimovieMan said:

Wouldn't that make the Chinese people more willing to put up with crap??? 😇🤣

 

I think the distinction here is highly nuanced and really a matter of perception...

 

On 4/27/2023 at 12:11 AM, Scaly Freak said:

 

Not in all European countries, but yes, in some of them that was most certainly the case. I think, though I could be wrong as these history lessons were a while ago, that one of the main reasons for the changes was the uncomfortable discovery that students learned every single thing they needed to learn for acing tests, and after graduation that was all they knew. Applying your knowledge to a wider field and extrapolate so you can apply it to your new job? Nope. School had overlooked that part, and that was impractical, so changes were made.

China is slowly coming to this conclusion as well, but the bigger the ship the harder it is to turn it.

 

-------------------------------------

 

I have missed a few updates, so I will just tell a few stories to make up for it

 

First off, the resolution of the ongoing housekeeping saga.  Ghostess reached out to our regular cleaning lady and worked out a deal with her.  She will come in on one of her days off and clean for us.  We will pay her double what she was getting before.  She was here on Monday to clean and for the first time Phantom didn't hiss at her 

 

On Tuesday night, Ghostess was flying home from Shanghai and some guy in the seat behind her was in a rush to get his luggage out of the overhead compartment and ended up dropping on her already injured shoulder.  The guy was an absolute dick and tried to blame her for suddenly getting in his way, claiming that she wasn't there (in her own seat!) when he went to grab his luggage.  She obviously couldn't drive in this situation so I had to go pick her up.  The guy was completely uncooperative so we had to get the police involved to get his information just in case it turned out to be serious.  I then took her to  a nearby hospital to get her shoulder checked out.  Luckily it didn't seem to do any serious damage to her shoulder, but it really hurt her emotionally.

 

After completing his tests, the hard work for the teachers began.  The district requires them to have the grades out by the weekend, so they have been super busy the last few days.  The upshot of this is that they haven't had time to assign any homework so for the last 3 days he has had free time in the evening.  Every Chinese New Year we play Mahjong as a family but this last year we ended up having a big tiff about the scoring standard we should be using.  Because of this Ghostlet has been using his free time to research the various rules for scoring and wanted to show me what he has learned.  On the one hand, I am really impressed by his initiative and efforts to satiate his own curiosity.  On the other hand, I kid of wish his interest was on something other than what is normally considered a vice.

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread   Challenge Log   Bodyweight Exercise Library   Recipe Book   Shuffle Club 

 

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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Hmmm, I'm not sure why half of my responses above disappeared...

 

On 4/24/2023 at 12:27 PM, juliebarkley said:

Best of luck to Ghostlet on his very important practice exam!

Thanks!  At this point it is just waiting for the results to some out

 

On 4/24/2023 at 6:30 PM, Lara said:

When you began talking about Ghostlet and the university entrance exam I had this thought "oh, god, how did time go this fast???!!!". Fortunately I haven't missed that much, fiuuuu.

I remember once when you explained how the education system works in China, and how decisive is to get to a good high school or even school to get assured you'll get into a university, and how hard everything is. It was mindblowing. Specially since we are in the opposite side here (what's happening with the education system here is nonsense and sad, I sometimes wonder how will I help Wolvie with it).

Best of luck to Ghostlet! I'm sure he did his best. Tell us how it goes.

It really is pretty crazy.  What is the situation in Spain?

 

On 4/25/2023 at 9:05 PM, TimovieMan said:

Yikes, how stressful is that whole entrance exam thing then? 😲😧

It doesn't make the news for obvious reasons, but the teen suicide rate due to school pressure is way higher than it should be

 

On 4/26/2023 at 8:40 AM, XBlackWidowX said:

But pizza here is somehow... tasteless.

I am pretty sure it is the cheese.  Chinese people don't usually like the tangy savory flavor typical of most cheeses so I think they intentionally make the pizza cheese particularly bland.

 

 

On 4/25/2023 at 10:30 PM, Rhovaniel said:

OOf, that is a lot of pressure on students! Hope Ghostlet does really well on his exams!

Thanks, he seems to be cautiously optimistic

  • Like 3
HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread   Challenge Log   Bodyweight Exercise Library   Recipe Book   Shuffle Club 

 

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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