written/non-written things by me (from 2005-2008)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Zilch Electric Juice Card

So last night my electricity went out because there was confusion about how much electricity I actually wanted to pay for. See, here in Chiner, you pay for everything (save food thingies) with swipie cards. Phone, internet, gas, electric, long distance, cell phone, everything. You buy a card and either insert it in a machine (fun!) or call a number and enter a recharge pin (boring.). Well, with the inserting-type of electricity card all you gotta do is go to the bank (and there is only a few of these special Industrial Banks of China‘s that do this) and wait in a long long line to have the lady swipe it for you, thus rechargigrafying it. Convenience!! Well, last week my nice neighbor pointed out to me (on my meter in the stairwell for everyone to see), that I was dangerously low on electric juice. So I called up my landlord’s daughter (speaks English) and said Now hows do I do this? And so Mama Landlord (no English) met me at the special bank and gave me candies and tissues for my purse and waited in line with me and we discussed (I thought) that I wanted 100 kuais worth of juice. So as we approached the swipe lady, she stepped aside proudly, metaphorically unclipping my wings, and allowed me to complete the transaction as we had practiced 20 minutes earlier at the end of the line. It worked! Kind of, but of course, not really. After handing the swipe lady 100 kuai I received like 56.78 in change and was all “Huh I gave you 100 kuai for 100 kuais worth of juice“ But no no no no twas not the arrangement, apparently. See I really only wanted but a mere 100 units of juice at a reasonable price of 43.22. So today, the 100 units at 43.22 kuai ran out, because I (and my neighbor) wasn’t paying attention. Its okay, because I still have a little juice in my lap top and in my semi-juicy digicam. So there are these as evidence that I can rock it with no lights:

My name is Hannah Pierce-Carlson