I have issues

I have issues

I apologize. In my last post, I told you to “stay tuned,” because I thought I’d have a slew of posts in the offing… then, I got lazy. Sorry.

John and I are finally back in Shanghai. We’re on day 2 and doing surprisingly well, adjusting from the jetlag. Getting up a tad early (5ish) but chugging along during the day. I’ve had some disturbing dreams lately. In one, I met up with my childhood friend Tricia in the States only to discover she was fully literate in Chinese! While I was in Shanghai doing my China stint, Mandarin had become a compulsory language in the US educational system! Ha, ha. My friend was showing me up big time, reading me her term paper and shit. Thankfully, it was just a dream.

My second dream was intense but in a life-threatening sort of way. Some bad guy was after me and my friends. We were like crawling around in the ventilation ducts trying to escape. Yeah, it was very scary. Luckily, I didn’t wet the bed!

So ANYway, the US trip finished up all right. Visited my parents, my FMF peeps on the East coast. In week 3 on the West coast, we met up with my high school friend Jill and her dude Morgan. Had a good time with them in San Jose. Of course, afterwards, John and I felt like unhealthy slobs…

Speaking of which, I returned to Shanghai about 5 lbs heavier. Poor John: his company really did him in. Can you believe the employees get a daily assortment of doughnuts and pastries for breakfast? In addition, the firm caters lunch AND keeps a fully stocked snack cabinet. No frickin’ wonder, ya know? I won’t give exact numbers, but let’s just say double digits. Yeah, in three weeks. No worries though. John’s been on this roller coaster ride before. In one month, he’ll trim down again. He’s a trooper that way. Then, it’ll be time for another business trip to CA. The epitome of a healthy lifestyle, I tell you.

Frankly, this last week has been very emotionally draining for John and me. His company offered him a promotion into management… with the expectation that he/we be moved to CA and ready to go in four weeks. Yup. Always on the tight schedule. We seriously considered the opportunity, but in the end, we decided against it. Mostly, the timing just wasn’t right. So all you people out there wanting to visit, you just got a second chance. 🙂

We’re relieved the decision is over. “Indecision 2005” was not fun. Of course, I’m sure will face a similar life crises soon enough. We’re emotionally messy that way.

So, new stuff on tap this week. I’m very excited to get back to work. I have a couple of new teaching prospects– might be nice to change things up a bit. Don’t ask about Animals Asia, man. Bad news. My visa application is on hold indefinitely due to continued infighting at the Chengdu visa office. You’d think there would be SOME way around all this. Not so, I’m told.

Oh, almost forgot. Time for another respite from Ebay, man. Been burned way too many times. In my young life, I’ve already encountered two nasty beotches and an oddly tacit nonpayer. This last trip to the US, I had to take this crap up another level. Yeah, I’m talking submitting a claim in the “dispute console.” Serious stuff. Ugh. These people, man. I swear they bring out the worst in me.

This lady won my auction and then emailed me asking to “mutually agree to cancel.” Supposedly, she didn’t realize the makeup was medium- (rather than full-) coverage. Ugh, hello? I state it’s medium coverage in three places: the heading, the description, and the picture. Moron! At first, I even considered her request. Then, after checking out her feedback and realizing she’d pulled this bs before, I declined. So then what happened? Suddenly, she became MIA. I emailed her every other day, sent her invoices, requested money via Paypal. No reply. Meanwhile, she was buying up a storm on Ebay. Makeup, household items, baby clothes… WtF, right? Thank goodness for the dispute console. Yeah, man. The hardest $9 I ever earned. She paid, I shipped, case closed. WRONG! So today, I get an email from her. She’s pissed about the negative feedback. OMG! Who can be so damn oblivious? Damn straight I’m gonna leave a big, fat MINUS. Figure out how Ebay works, beotch! Ugh. Time for another Ebay hiatus.

Bad luck surrounds me. This afternoon, I got suckered into a scam. Kind of. Earlier today, some dude called and said I needed to go to his office. I asked who he was, but I neither recognized the name nor the company. I asked what business his company was in, and I didn’t understand the reply. Yes, that’s what I get for having still limited Chinese vocabulary. I don’t know why, but I assumed it was some package or document– something important. So, I took down the address and agreed to swing by this afternoon. When I arrived at the high-rise, I made out that the company was some sort of “management” firm. Long story short, I went in, met with Mr. Qian, and realized like a dumbass that it was some investment management company recruiting new clients (i.e. me). I told him I wasn’t interested. That I didn’t invest money in China. That I thought he had some kind of package or delivery for me. He persisted and offered me a bunch of company brochures. I explained that I couldn’t read. He looked confused. How could this be? Here I was sitting before him speaking Mandarin (albeit sub-par Mandarin), but I couldn’t fill out a simple form (for that, I actually played dumb)? Searching for answers, he started bombarding me with questions. “Are you Shanghainese?”. No. “Where are you from? How do you speak Mandarin? You really can’t read? How long have you been here?” Blah, blah. I got out of there as fast as I could. Fortunately, it was just a quick ride home on Furby.

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