complex logistics

Sorry I haven’t updated in a while. We’re in the midst of a game of Musical Countries. First Ted was in the Netherlands for a week and a half. He got back Wednesday night and we leave tomorrow for the US, where we’ll be spending some time with relatives in DC, then doing some driving through NC and TN. We’ll be there for two weeks, then we get back and a week later I leave for the Netherlands. That trip is planned for three weeks but will probably extend longer. I hope so, because otherwise I leave Eindhoven just as Ted gets there!

Yesterday we got our Taiwanese drivers’ licenses. It went fairly smoothly; someone came to our apartment to pick us up and shepherd us through the process. The biggest delay was because their book of international identifications was apparently out of date and didn’t quite match the Dutch drivers’ licenses we acquired last year. (We couldn’t just pull out our US ones because the Dutch ones were authenticated and translated before we left, just for this purpose.) They had to put our Chinese names on the licenses because the US versions had too many letters to fit, but they had some trouble with Ted’s name. Our HR here didn’t bother to come up with a new translation for it and just kept using the one someone translated when he frst started coming here on business a decade ago. It’s a literal conversion of the syllables to Chinese phonemes; “Ted” comes out “Tai-duh” and with his last name the whole thing is about 7 Chinese characters – the usual is three. So they had to just put part of it on the license. Our helper said it didn’t matter anyway because they just look at the ARC number.

We spent a chunk of today at the bank. I got my account last week, but since Ted was out of the country he didn’t get to open his until today. The bank person made an office visit again, but then we had to go to the bank branch to deposit all that cash they gave me for our November and December paychecks. We also transferred money to our US accounts, took out some US cash, Ted changed his bank card passwords and his internet passwords, and they issued us each yet another password to allow us to transfer money to each other’s accounts. (Actually, we think they allow us to transfer money to anyone else’s account, for instance to pay bills online.) I reckon we each have seven different passwords and strings of characters to do business with that bank: ARC, nickname and password to log on online, transfer password, bankcard password for domestic use and a different one for using it in other countries, and a password for bankbook transactions. All told, we were there for about an hour and a half, even though everyone was very helpful and the person helping us spoke fairly good English.

If anyone needs to reach us while we’re in the US for the next two weeks, our mobile phones should work there.

One Response to “complex logistics”

  1. Keilyn Says:

    DC?? Any chance of dinner or lunch or something?

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