Incidentally, there are other websites where I’ve seen people expressing the same sort of thoughts as, anyone that has lived here and comes from another culture will have a huge number of, to their mind, weird and entertaining things happen to them – 99.9% percent of people reading them realise that these are just intended as humorous stories, photos, etc. from people that live here and enjoy living in this culture and want to share some of the experiences so, obviously they focus on experiences of note. 0.1% of people don’t see the joke and 0.1% of these people leave horribly abusive comments, accusations of racism, etc. etc. If anyone feels they are likely to fall into this category, please go and read some knitting websites, or something.
One of the points of blogging, to my mind, particularly given the country I’m living in, is to share the, er, unusual sights and sounds – compared to what I consider normal coming from the UK. Going forward I’ll try to be more contemporaneous, but to get going, I’ll post the odd archive article that I’d previously committed to email. Thanks to the way MSN blogging works, there’s no way I can give them the dates of the events but nothing’s perfect.
Interesting turn of events this morning (2005/12/20).
I'm at the Hyundai (no laughing) Dealer waiting, of course, to get my car. I was watching them reverse a saloon car onto their plate glass display plinth. The guy reversing it on decided to gun it just as the front wheels were on the steel ramps. The ramps duly shot away from the plinth, nearly chopping one guy off at the ankles (what is the opposite of “decapitation”?). The front of the car thumped down and the car is stuck, the rear wheels on the plinth, about 20cm high, and the front on the ground.
About 25 people have been gathered around the car ever since. Looks straightforward to me. Drive forward about a metre, put the ramps back in, and complete the job. 20 mins on and they've tried lifting the front of the car on by hand (failed to get it off the ground) and now they've just slid the ramps under the front wheels facing away from the car and driven the car up them so that the front wheels are the same height as the back, but a metre from the plinth. Can’t imagine where they’re going to go from there.
In the interim they've simply taken to cleaning it where it is.
Sadly at this point I had to go and pay tax – yes, buying the car you can do by debit card but you then have to take the car dealer, a sheaf of papers and around 3cm thick wad of cash to a small bureau near the showroom. Customary official-bureau processes there too -
Queue at window 1. Give them the sheaf of papers, they return the sheaf of papers and add a new one.
Queue at window 2. Give them the piece of paper you’ve just got from window 1, they swap it for another piece of paper
Queue at window 3. Give them the new piece of paper and the wad of cash, they give you a receipt
Queue at window 1, again. Give them the receipt and they give you another piece of paper, you’re done!
Please bear in mind that the three people sit right next to each other, appear to have the same workstation, etc., etc.
Sadly, after 25 minutes of queuing and swapping bits of paper for other bits of paper, I've returned to the showroom and they’ve actually resolved the situation and the car’s on the plinth. Now I’ll never know how.