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Archive for July, 2008

From the mouth of babes

One of the joys of being back in Australia has been seeing our very cute niece and nephew. The other day, they came by car to visit us at our house. Their mother (my sister-in-law) announced that they had arrived at Auntie Gail and Uncle Andrew’s house. From the back seat our 2 1/2 year old niece called out “China!”

This is Australia

Child with hoop

After returning to Aus we discovered that my Aussie phone was not working but Gail’s was fine. It seems that it was more than 395 days since I last purchased credit and Vodafone consider an account inactive after this amount of time.

After 3 visits to Vodafone, 3 calls to Vodafone service, the purchase of a new SIM card, the purchase of 2 different types of phone credit and $20 in fees my phone was working again with the old number.

I was astounded at the number of hoops I had to jump through to get my phone working and get my old number back. It was very time consuming when the only time I wanted to consume was the time surveying the back of my eyelids. At least all the Vodafone people we spoke to were very friendly and they all told me consistent information.

This situation reminded me that things aren’t always simple and easy here either. It’s just that we can communicate using a common first language to work through the difficulties.

In the office in Shenzhen we had a saying: TIC - This is China. It was occasionally wheeled out whenever something went completely awry or when a situation was completely incomprehensible.