Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Yesterday, on my way home from work, I came across this scene. This is an everyday occurrence. As you can imagine, in a city that has millions of people living together in close proximity, getting from point A to point B can be an adventure. For families, this can be even more of a challenge. So this is one way that parents have come up with for getting their children where they need to go. - Frank
Monday, April 11, 2011
I see the car.
- Idiot! What are you doing?
I applied the brakes.
- Ok. I am not going to stop in time.
- Oh no, my laptop is in my backpack.
Bam! I hit the car. I stayed on my feet.
· Laptop is ok.
Well, the driver of the car gets out and immediately tries to place the blame. "太快了，太快了！你骑得太快了。This means: “Too fast, too fast! You were riding too fast. Well, I was not going to be out done. I said to him "开不看了，开不看了！为什么你开不看了"？Which means: "Drive but not looking, drive but not looking! Why did you drive without looking?" Well, at least that is what I wanted to say. I am sure to his ears it just sounded like Charlie Browns teacher.
Anyway, after he determined that I was ok, he said I should move my bike. I told him not until we resolved the situation. I was afraid that he would just drive off. I asked him what should we do, he asked me how much money I wanted to fix my bike. Since my bike brand new was 3600 RMB, and I paid 2500 for it, I told him I wanted 2500 RMB ($382 US). You see, I was using negotiating 101. Start high so that they can counter offer, and you can settle on what you really want. Well he must have read the same book, except he was working from the other side. Start really low so that you settle on what you want to pay. His opening counter was 200 RMB ($30US). Ok. What does negotiating 101 have to say about when the prices are too far apart? He and I both agreed that we needed to wait for the police.
The first policeman on the scene was off duty and just happened to be passing by. He told me that I should avoid bringing the police in and accept the 200 RMB. Hmm. My thinking at that time: As tempting as that is, I think I will take whatever's behind door number 2". Well, soon the next cop arrived on the scene. He too encouraged me to take the 200. I think he did not want to do any paperwork. This time I pointed to my bike and said "这辆车我骑不了. 两百块能做什么？" or "I can't ride my bike. What is 200 RMB going to do?" So this cop said ok but we would have to wait for his supervisor to make a decision. Finally, the supervisor shows up, looks at the situation, and immediately rules in my favor. He is the Chinese Judge Wapner. (de, definitely Wapner) He asked me what I wanted, and I told him I just wanted my bike fixed. So, after an hour and a half of waiting, it was decided that the guys insurance would pay to fix my bike. My only remaining problem was getting the bike to the shop and getting home. I know accidents happen, but why did it have to happen to me?
- The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.
- Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
“The spirit of the tea beverage is one of peace, comfort and refinement.”- Arthur Gray
Thursday, March 31, 2011
"Acquire new knowledge while thinking over the old, and you may become a teacher of others." - Confucius
PS- Just in case you were wondering, no, I never see any samuri either. You see, they too are Japanese.