I had an awful day

I had an awful day today. A classically bad day. At one point I was sure I was going to simply resign and go home. Home, as in America. And why was my day so bad? Because I had to go to the bank, because I need to get money wired to America to pay my mortgage there. Only the banks in Beijing don’t like people trading RMB, the currency of the PRC, for US dollars. It means less money will be spent here in China. They like to keep the money here, as RMB, and they are masterful at erecting every conceivable obstacle to letting you change RMB and spend it in another country. It’s very easy to take US money and put it into a bank in China. But oh, is it hard getting it out, at least as dollars.

The bottom line is that I simply could not do it. I failed. I thank God I recognized several weeks ago that this could become a huge headache for me, and my company has agreed to pay my salary directly into my not-in-China bank account starting February 1. I won’t go into how I finally got the money to wire to the US; let’s just say it wasn’t easy and I hope I never have to go through such an ordeal again.

It is at moments like this, when I was in the bank nearly in tears, that I really wonder what the fuck I am doing here. If I told you the bureaucratic hoops I had to jump through today (all to absolutely no avail) you simply wouldn’t believe me.

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