Actual Post and Updates

Again, it’s been a while since posting, almost 2 weeks, mostly due to how busy we’ve been with Maria’s MBA program starting up properly and falling into the routine of it all. I don’t think there’s actually much new to post about, so I think this post will mostly be me complaining about a plethora of things, complaints that have built up for a while.

1) Smartphones in China:

So…you have available all major brands and operating systems, and the good thing is you can get them all unlocked, though that’s less of a positive nowadays since the States are making providers do so themselves. Symbian S60 is out of date, and they’re not going to update it anytime soon, and I’d rather not dump a wad of cash on dying technology. Windows Mobile 6.5 is out of date, and Windows Phone 7 is slated for the end of the year. Again, no reason to dump a wad of cash on something out of date that won’t get updated. That leaves Android and Apple. Both very good platforms, just a question of what we need right? Right, the point is, we bought a smartphone for Maria so that she can keep track of her email and calendar while at school because they don’t have free internet on campus, which is another point of griping to come to later…First, China SUCKS! Ok, now that that’s out of the way, it’s because there’s no such thing as a non-grey market phone. It’s because in China technically WiFi is illegal…China has their own proprietary “secured” wireless technology called WAPI, and they had petitioned the IEEE to adopt it as a full on wireless platform, but since China refused to let the IEEE people examine the WAPI protocol under the pretense that it’ll compromise its security, they adopted 802.11i, I think? Whatever. So all those fancy phone that have wireless on them, don’t, in China, and if they do, they need to run unofficial software and firmware. I bought a Motorola Milestone (Droid in the States), and found out they had some “itfunzterminatorIIeclairmod” firmware installed that just sucked. It was laggy, nothing worked, and it ran the battery quick as hell. When I went back to the store to ask what this was, it turns out that all Android phones in China have this installed. So I asked if Apple phones ran proper software, and apparently it doesn’t either! Now this is all changing, so it’s not that big of a deal per se, it’s just inconvenient at this moment, seeing as how I’m not running a custom built ROM on Maria’s phone and there’s no good way around it. But as I said, it’s being fixed…because WiFi is just so prevalent in this country, I don’t know of a single WAPI hotspot…An unexpected benefit of this though is that I’m not well versed in flashing Android phones and installing 3rd party ROMS, and I can run 2.2, though it’s not released yet.

2) No wireless on campus:

This one’s gonna be short and to the point. There’s no free wireless internet on Tsinghua’s campus. Anywhere. You can buy “limited” and “domestic” internet access for 5RMB a month, otherwise it’s by the KB for “normal” internet access. At this point, we’re using Maria’s phone as a wireless hotspot.

3) Visa woes, still:

I still don’t have my visa! I’m running out of time and entries. At the moment, I don’t have a single entry left, and so am unable to leave the country without having to go back to the States and getting a brand new visa. I’m not sure what’s so complicated about it all, everyone else has work visas. Right now the holdup is that apparently the Chinese bureaucrat can’t add together the dates of all my previous jobs to see that yes, I’ve had more than 2 years of work experiences. It’s so unreasonable to expect them to understand that having one job from Jan. 2007 to Jan. 2008 then another from Jan. 2008 to Jan. 2009 means TWO years of experience (hypothetically here…sarcasm intended).

So, and to clarify, I, officially, have now never worked at RH and instead was working at VSM from January 2007 to September 2009, and I have a signed verification of past employment to this effect.

Bah.

Hopefully though, we’re over the major hurdles, and I’ll have my visa soon, and I won’t have to keep leaving the country, and I’ll be able to get my drivers license because I really want to take a nice long road trip again.

Related to visas, remember when I turned down a proper job because my father said he could hire me and pay me consistently? The second time I put my faith in family? I’m regretting it…

4) Chinese people’s non-existent sense of personal space:

And this wouldn’t be an issue if not for that fact that the majority of people in this country are men seeing as how “everybody wants a boy” and what not. I mean, I wouldn’t mind people not having a sense of personal space if they were all decently attractive Chinese girls…anywho though…it’s been grating more and more lately, and is just making me very uncomfortable, especially on the subways. Rushhours in this country are insane. There are attendants on the platforms shouting into blow horns to “use all your strength to squeeze into the train,” and they’ll give you a helpful shove as well, and are half a step from literally pushing you on top of the other passengers to occupy the headroom that’s “wasted.” But it’s probably a cultural thing, how these people were raised, but they’re very touchy feely, people of the same sex that is, which is also just weird, but there’s plenty of room on the train even or the platform and for some reason they still have to brush up against me and where I’m standing, though there’s plenty of room for them not to, and it’s getting harder and harder to restrain this seething desire in me to elbow them really, really, really hard, and pretend it was due to the rocking of the train or something. I’ve been cursing a lot lately under my breath as a more reasonable outlet, that’s what’s kind of nice about a country where people don’t really speak the language you’re cursing in. But the point is, they should just stop touching me!

5) Still sick:

Hmmm…I’m kind of tired now. The reason I was awake in the first place was because we’re still sick and Maria had a coughing fit and woke the 2 of us up. We had slept for just about an hour and a half, which unfortunately counts as a nap for me, and so I think messed up my sleeping a bit so I couldn’t fall back asleep. But that was a couple of hours ago now also, and I’m feeling it again, which is good because we have a early day tomorrow, and I think the simple monotony of typing and writing is having a soothing effect on me.

6) Non-complaints:

On a completely non-complaining note, we’ve been in China for 1 whole year! Happy Anniversary to us! We’re going to celebrate this weekend :)

We managed to get through a Mid Autumn Festival (when the Chinese people all eat moon cakes) without eating a single moon cake! (they’re kind of gross, especially the new flavors like Oriole or meat…)

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