My $0.02 on the HK/China debacle

NB: I am from Hong Kong, but I’ll try to be as objective as possible. I normally don’t like labeling Chinese people as from the “mainland” or “Hong Kong”, but for the purpose of this post I have done so in order to distinguish the two parties.

While on a political level, mainland Chinese and Hong Kong relations are straightforward (one country, two policies system), recent events have caused the two parties to gnaw relentlessly at each other. For those unfamiliar with the ongoing controversy, it all reignited this year with the D&G episode in Hong Kong. The DL: A Hong Kong resident tried to take a picture outside the store but was stopped by an employee, claiming it was not allowed. However, foreign and mainland Chinese tourists were exempt from this. Reports indicate that a mainland Chinese official in the store did not want to be seen shopping for luxury goods. Infuriated by the outright discrimination, within days tens of thousands of residents protested in front of the shop, causing it to close early.

While seemingly trivial, this kind of behavior is not unheard of in Hong Kong. Seriously, we’re a bunch of drama queens. HKers are known to protest against just about anything. In this case, they feel as if wealthy mainland Chinese are “taking over” the city. While I believe most protestors had good intentions, some took it too far and began shouting discriminatory chants against the mainland Chinese. That is not right.. Don’t get me wrong, I sympathize with their sentiments. Coming from an environment that was once the freest city in the world, they are bound to feel confined and suffocated now. But this is not the right way to go about it! Protest all you want, but do it right. Otherwise you end up sounding like an angry child who just lost his favourite toy.

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Life in China: My UPS nightmare

November 23, 2010
I buy a Canon 7D with a 28-135mm lens kit off of eBay. That is the exact listing in which I paid for the item. $199 in shipping costs puts the total to a little over $2000 CAD.

November 24, 2010
This is the day it got shipped out according to the UPS tracking website.The shipping process was going smoothly until it landed in Beijing on November 29th, 2010.


November 29, 2010
I left a message for UPS, and a broker called me back. She spoke virtually no English. She asked me to send them a copy of my passport, a list of the package content and to sign this letter:

I am not kidding. Feeling desperate, I hastily sign it and await for “good” news.

November 30, 2010
No good. Beijing customs decided to open my package and “inspect” it. At this point I am already really angry.. One fingerprint on my camera and I swear I was gonna hurt someone.

December 1, 2010
UPS tells me I need an invoice. I provide it to them. My broker Yeling replies with the following: “这个不行啊,您这是网购的吗?你申报的价值是509.25usd,这个发票怎么是1669usd??” (This is not good, did you buy it online? You declared 509.25USD, but this receipt says 1669USD).

At this point I’m going crazy.. If the sender is going to declare a much lower value, they should at least let me know, right? Totally not my fault. I tell USP 1) the true value is 1669USD, 2) I just want my package, and 3) please use English. After a long period of correspondence, she agrees to do what she can with the documents I provided.

December 3 – 5, 2010
I email and call. No response.

December 6, 2010
Yeling: “hello,you parcel  have a big problem, because the waybill value is 509.25usd,and the actually value is 1669usd,the two price are great disparity. the customs thought its had smuggle suspect,and now they need check and audit with it”

Me: Will it help if i contact the sender? I am leaving the country on December 29. Will it get here before then, if at all? What can i do to make the process faster?

December 7, 2010
Yeling: “hello,your parcel had new information. the customs let you call him ,and pls let them know the actually condition and you could discuss with them how to do with your parcel. tel:010-804XXXXX/804XXXXX/804XXXXX.”

I call. I told them my situation, and they basically said it’s not true and that I can’t speak to them directly. “Don’t believe in UPS” were their exact words. At this point I’m so furious my head is about to explode.

I email Yeling and tell her what happened. She basically said, oops, my bad, call again and look for Mr. Wang Jun. I do, and this guy speaks zero English. Way to go, UPS. I understand that I’m in China, but if you’re working for freakin’ UPS or China customs and you’re keeping $2000 cameras from foreign girls because you’re being petty, then you’re asking for it.

I ask my dear friend Desiree to help translate for me and we have a lengthy 20 minute conversation. He tells me I need to write another letter to customs explaining the price discrepancy,  proof that I bought the camera, etc.

He said the whole process would take 3 months. What. the. hell. IT’S A DAMN CAMERA. But nonetheless, I supposedly “broke” Chinese law. Apparently there’s a law stating that you can’t ship over 1000rmb ($120 CAD) in goods to China. $120CAD. My freakin’ iPod is worth more than that. I told him I’d be leaving the country soon so I need it within two weeks. He said he’ll see what he can do, which means that… Nothing’s gonna happen.


Help! Stuck in a woman’s body…

….and not a very hot one at that. Haha. I spoke with several friends about this, and they all agree. Despite my girly appearance, I seriously think that I’m a man stuck in a woman’s body. Here’s why.

  1. I’m really daring. I’ve sat up close at a venomous snake show. Bungee jumping doesn’t phase me, and I’m planning on going skydiving next year. If I really was a guy, I’d not only have balls of steel, but three at that.
  2. I have the appetite of a boy who just hit puberty. I eat more than most of the guys I know. My cravings aren’t limited to midnight snacks–they’re more like 1am, 2am, 3am, etc snacks.
  3. I can talk for hours on end about electronics and computer software.
  4. I think like one. I can crack ‘that’s what she said’ jokes faster than most of my buddies. I have no shame..!
  5. I’m aggressive. Ask any guy I’ve dated… I’m always the man of the relationship. Not proud of this one.
  6. I love talking about hot chicks. Gah I think I’m starting to talk like one too..
  7. I love a good deal. I pay homage to Redflagdeals.. srsly.

There are more, but they’ve slipped my mind. What’s the purpose of this entry? Haha, nne at all.. I’m just random like that. No pictures too, ’cause I’ve had nothing cool to takes pictures of this past while. Goodbye! :)

No more games.

I’m freakin’ tired but I need to get this off my chest.

I’m turning 21 this year, but I feel as if I haven’t grown out of these stupid love games. This. Has. Got. To. Stop.

Where’s my pride?

I deserve so much more than that.

No more waiting and being pathetic.

It’s all or nothing.

Yes or no.

I need to break away from this mess and find happiness :)

I want to re-discover my passions… Art, dance, whatever it might be. No… I will.