Pop Quiz… the Answer

I really enjoyed hearing your guesses for the pop quiz. Thanks for playing along!

We had a few guesses on the original post, and a few more posted on Facebook.

Guesses included:

Parking ticket: good guess, but since we don’t have a car, that can’t be it…

Postal Pick-up notice: Not it, but in case you were curious, those look like this…

Property taxes: Thank goodness, we don’t have to deal with those here! I’m not really sure if they even have those since the government owns all property in China… not sure how that works. Either way, I’m glad we don’t have to deal with it.

Electricity or Gas Bill: this was on the right track and ALMOST there…

BUT my personal favorite guess and if they have these then I really want to see one…

A Donkey Parking Violation.

But what it REALLY is…

Drumroll please.

It’s the Water Bill.

The first time one of these was posted on the door, I had no idea what it was. Obviously. I couldn’t read Chinese and didn’t know what process would require a notice to be taped to the door. In the United States, those are usually eviction notices. Could have been that for all I knew but I was really hoping not since we had just moved in and had nowhere to go.

However, I guessed it was some kind of bill based on the characters for Shenyang being in the title. And as it turns out, I also correctly guessed it was the water by using my amazing deducing skills and looking at the little blue circle with waves in it… of course, that would mean water.

At that point, no idea what to do with it.

In comes, the handy dandy realtor to the rescue again. I snapped this photo of it and emailed it to her.

The reply:
“THE worker form the cold water supply company want to check the cold water meter in your house. They have been here and you didn’t at home. They want to check it and there is a red telephone number on it. Please tell me when will you stay at home I will arrange them to check.”

After going back and forth trying to find a time to arrange it, and me not liking to make plans in advance, as well as China people also not liking to make future plans, I get this…

“The staff don’t know will she be free then.
And 23XX-XXXX is the telephone number of Wulihe plaza management company.
please tell them when you are free and make them to do the water meter check immediately. Maybe that will be work. Only a suggestion. If you have any problem please contact with me.”

BINGO. I have now figured out how to pay my water bill in China. (And every other bill actually.)

This works out really well for us since our management company usually has someone in the office who speaks English. I just go to the office with whatever notice I get. Hand over some cash. They charge a 15 yuan “service fee” which is more than fine by me since it sure beats trying to go to the water company on my own where they will NOT speak any English and mostly just look at me like I’m some kind of white skinned crazy alien.

One interesting thing about bills in Shenyang is that they don’t really have a regular monthly statement like we’re used to in the States. You don’t use water on credit and then pay for what you’ve used. And they don’t come on the same day every month. In China, you pay up front some amount that goes into your account and then they debit your usage from that amount. When you run out, they come knockin’.

And there you go, now you know how to pay your bills in China.

Coming soon… How to pick up your postal packages in Sheyang.


4 thoughts on “Pop Quiz… the Answer

  1. Love it! As always I enjoyed immensely your story telling of life in China. I think living in a world where there was nothing remotely close to English present for communication would be so daunting not to mention just the cultural differences. What a lifetime of humorous stories you will have to tell. Since my original guess is the postal pickup, I can’t wait to hear that adventure! Hope you and LB are well!

    Marla Kuhne

  2. You have Facebook now in China? I sure hope so. there’s a slight chance we may be moving – expat stuff too.

    • Facebook and youtube and a whole host of other sites are still blocked in China, but we use a Virtual Private Network to connect to the Internet. It is a lifesaver. There is a bit more info on the ’10 things to pack’ post.

  3. Pingback: Pop quiz… What is this?