Sunday, 1 July 2007

Service and Delivery in China

Service and Delivery in China = fast and cheap/free
Service and Delivery in Australia = slow and expensive.

Mike and I are both amazed at how fast things are here in terms of service and delivery!

* We applied to have internet installed on a Friday afternoon. On Sunday morning someone came around with the modem and everything and installed it for us - free of charge! In Australia we'd have to wait about 2 weeks and wait for them to send you the modem in the mail.

* We applied to have cable/satellite tv installed and called at about 2pm in the afternoon. At 6:30pm they were at our place installing it. In Australia it'd probably take a week or so and they'd probably be slow as.

* We had a problem with our plumbing, specifically the kitchen sink would not drain. We called our landlord who called a plumber who was here within an hour. Fixed it, and left. In Australia - probably a week's wait and then be told they couldn't fix it and we'd need someone else to come out a week later to finish off the job.

* I buy Chinese herbal medicine from my doctor. They cook it for me and deliver it to me the same day for 10 RMB (about $1.50).

Delivery for almost anything is free or very inexpensive and they come to your house to do it all! which brings me to my next point.

Our Landlord

One of the nicest people I have met in Shanghai. He gave us a discount for paying our rent in 3-monthly installments instead of the usual monthly arrangement. He arranged to have furniture and appliances in another apartment swapped with those in ours. He installed a special laundry drying rack (which can be lowered) on our balcony free of charge. When I asked him where to go to pay our bills - he just took them off me and went and paid them for me! I couldn't believe that someone could be so nice. Also, he has the same accent and similar voice as my grandfather and when he spoke to me on the phone for the first time and called my name I freaked out! I thought it was my grandfather calling me!

... which brings me to my next point. The air conditioner in our living room still isn't working properly. I've set it to the lowest temp. of 16º and it's cool if you stand right underneath it, but I'm about 2-3m away from it and I've been sweating all afternoon. It feels more like a fan, a fan that is churning hot air around rather than nice cool air you are supposed to get with A/C so tomorrow morning I'm giving our landlord a call! Humph.

"I'm melting, I'm melting..."

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