Steve's China Blog

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Another week

The weekend is finally here. A chance to relax a little after a long week.

On Monday the weather seemed ok when I left for work, but by the time I got to the office the tempature dropped and it started to snow. I was did not wear a coat, so I woke up on Tuesday with a cold. This is strange... I usually only get one cold a year, and this is the third cold I have had in the last few months. I think it is work stress mixed with the fact that I have not been to the gym in awhile.

I decided to go to Cherating Beach in Malaysia for my year-end vacation, and I have been trying to arrange that this week. Of course, everything has to be complicated... The travel agent booking the resort for me is in Shanghai, and last year I just payed them RMB from my bank account, but this year they are sending it to their office in Hong Kong which will only accept Hong Kong dollars from my international credit card. I have to go to the bank today, and make sure they will pay with Hong Kong dollars.

Trying to reserve airline tickets is also a pain since they have seperate systems for tickets within China and international flights, and I pay for both of them in cash when they deliver the tickets. Of course, when they found out I am a foreigner it's "Oh, we forgot this charge", and "We forgot about this new tax", and "Oh, the airline just raised the price", etc... Well, the first two ticket agents tried that crap, but I told them to blow and this third one seems honest so maybe I won't get ripped off.

I kept tabs on the election results in the US when I could. I was kind surprised that at some of the outcomes and close races. I got some interesting questions from some Chinese co-workers here, such as... Are crazy people allowed to vote? (Yes) Can crazy people run for office? (Yes) Does this mean the US will surrender to the terrorists? (Probably), etc... We did not talk about elections in China.

On Thrusday I took a certification test for something called Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which has to do with managing IT services. I did better than I thought I would and I passed it, but I had been trying to take the test for a few months now and finally got it scheduled and done. Yeah! It's done!


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