No Mo' Money Honey

Trip Start Jun 03, 2013
Trip End Aug 25, 2013

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Flag of China  ,
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Last night there was a wicked storm that went through. Lots of rain and a constant flicker of lightning. The wind howled through the hallway and whistled under the doors. It was kinda spooky.

Things were calm when the alarm went off at 7:20 a.m. I got dressed and went down to see if the cafeteria would have anything I wanted to eat. Nope. Rice roll it is.

I took a shower and washed a couple items of clothing at the same time. Now that's being efficient!

Then I jaunted off to the bank, determined to exchange money myself. I had some Hong Kong dollars leftover, so I wanted to exchange them. Plus I wanted to try to get some money off of one of my cards if I could. I walked to the bank, found the right paperwork and filled it out. I found the thingie that spits out the number and waited my turn. Hah! I can survive here.

Hah! Think again, sister.

So, I got the HKDs exchanged just fine. Wasn't a whole lot, but something. I couldn't get any money from one of my cards. The bank lady said to use an ATM. So I walked down to Joy City and found one. OK, so let's see how this machine works. It had the symbols of all the major card types including AMEX and MC. First I tried my AMEX, since that seemed the safest to use. Nope, spit that sucker right out and said "invalid card." What? I tried again. Same. Then I tried my bank MasterCard. Seemed ok, got to where you put in a pin. Then, an error came up and said "transaction not allowed." WTF???

So I went back to the dorm, frustrated beyond all reason. While I was walking, Ada sent me a message asking if I was successful at the bank. :/

When I got to my room, I sent a message back telling her what happened. I also sent a message to Gloria to see if they could pay me for the classes I've taught--early, since I'm not actually supposed to get paid until Aug. 10.

While messaging back and forth I actually started crying out of frustration with the situation. It seems like every time I start to feel good about things here, something like this happens. I know it's not the end of the world. Things have a way of working out; they always do.

Ada wasn't going to let me go without money, and thankfully, it looks like they're going to pay me early.

The importance of this trip, separate from making my resume look better (and let's face it, the teaching has been the easiest part of this trip!), is really about testing my resolve and feeling grateful for what I have at home in my own country.

So, Ada's cousin, Allysa, came and got me at about 2:30 p.m. We went to the Silk Street shopping center. So this is where all the foreigners are! They come by the busloads! It's basically where you go to buy knock-off stuff and other random clothes and souvenirs...six floors worth.

Allysa had to leave at 4:30 and Ada was on her way. Allysa gave me strict instructions NOT to buy anything until Ada got there (to help with bargaining). I thought that was funny. Ada got there right at 5:00. We finished up there pretty quickly, and then took the subway to Wangfujing, where we had dinner.

It was at a nice place called, DaDong something or other. They specialize in Peking Duck. Wow, did we have a feast. It's a really nice place, one that Ada says foreigners especially like.

We left to head to the subway. It started to rain a little and Ada decided we should take a taxi instead. The taxi driver said there was a storm warning for tonight...worse than last night.

Tomorrow we will go early to the Great Wall!

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Robert Hesslink on


kitkatgo on

Yeah, it was really good!

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