Sunday evening and another wild weekend in Jurong. Actually not really. The weather has cooled down and we actually felt a little cold this evening. On Friday night and Saturday night we watched movies from Netflix. It’s like never leaving Canada. But tomorrow is Monday and another week of work begins.
Next weekend we’ll head to Shanghai to visit and stay with Shujie’s younger brother and his family (wife, son), and Shujie’s mother who is there for the next 2 months. It means 6 people sharing 1 washroom but other than that it should be nice. It’s only about a 3-hour bus ride so I think we’ll survive that.
Yesterday which was Saturday we went out to look at cars. Why cars? I don’t know. My cheap wife thought that maybe getting a car would be a good idea. We went looking at used cars and there was very little to choose from and more than I was willing to pay. Then Shujie tells me that Chinese built cars are cheap. Cheap is good and if it’s new there is a warranty so no worries. So we went to the new car area.
The first thing we looked at was a Hyundai, which isn’t Chinese but Korean. The price was reasonable but much more than I was willing to pay. We went into a Chinese car dealership and we asked what a car we were looking at cost. They told us 50,000RMB (about $7800) and then they revised the price when asked again to 54,000RMB. I insisted we leave since they were stupid jerks in my viewpoint. I then told Shujie that was why so many people disliked Chinese. You see, you can’t trust people like the car guys and unfortunately you don’t remember the good people as well as you remember the bad people. So these idiots make over 1 billion people look bad.
We then went into another Chinese car place where they were much more pleasant, helpful, and professional. After browsing a few cars we were invited to sit down by the fan (it was hot) and they brought us water. We chatted and it was quite pleasant. Actually I didn’t chat much as no one really spoke English. One guy knew a little so he asked me where I was from. I always enjoy interfacing with the locals.
I asked Shujie why she felt we “needed” a car. She thought it was a good idea for when we travel. Now we won’t be travelling every week and if we do travel to a big city, we won’t drive in the city. It just seemed silly to me (I can’t believe I was being logical) to spend more than 1 year’s salary on a car for going away a few times when we can take trains and buses like the common people. She agreed with me and the car idea went out the window.
We went out to the street to catch a taxi and there were none around and none driving by. Shujie went back into the car dealership to see if they could call us a taxi and someone there (I think he was just visiting) offered to drive us. That’s what gets so confusing here. Sometimes people show such great kindness doing things that we Westerner’s would never think of doing.
Today, we went to a open air fruit and vegetable market this morning. It was quite small with not many things to choose from. It was a huge disappointment. We came home and decided to go and look at electric bikes. These are bicycles with a battery that works a motor. They travel at about 40km an hour (if you want) and the battery lasts for about 50km. It takes about 8 hours for a full charge.
We tried looking for a decent used one but we had no luck. We went into a few shops (there are lots since everyone and their sister has one) and browsed. We finally were ready to take a “test drive”. Shujie rode first and thought it was fine. Then I went. I almost fell. It’s not like riding a bicycle. It’s like riding some sort of hybrid bicycle-motorcycle. I need to work on my balance.
We kind of liked this one but I wanted to walk away and think about it. We went to another place we had visited to test drive and just Shujie rode it. In the mall. They didn’t want it to be on the road. I don’t think you can make much of a judgment by crawling through the crowds in the mall. She thought it was okay but it was tough to judge.
There was one other place I wanted to visit. It was one we went into last week where I thought the saleslady was quite nice and helpful. Since we were now being serious I thought we should revisit her and see if she could earn our business.
She was very pleasant and helpful again. Shujie told her it was my idea to come back since I thought she was quite pleasant. She appreciated the compliment. We looked at a few of them and one of them stood out. Shujie test-drove it (I wasn’t going to risk wiping out) and she liked it. We decided to purchase it. It was about $425 but now we would be part of the Chinese masses. It fit the two of us comfortably. It has a remote starter and it locks. It also has an anti-theft siren. It’s quite the cat’s pajamas.
Shujie went into negotiation mode and I admit I didn’t like what she used. She thought that since I came back because I liked the saleslady, she should show her appreciation by giving us a small discount. These people are shameless. So it worked and we got the small discount but I wasn’t comfortable with my kind thoughts being used as a negotiating tool.
We rode our new toy home and are now settled in. We have local transportation and I’ll have to practice before I’m roadworthy. I’m quite content to let Shujie be the driver as it couldn’t be worse than her car driving (it isn’t).
The pictures below are of our new baby. We’re heading out on the highway and looking for adventure. I guess we’re just born to be wild.