Wednesday, January 28, 2004

bureaucratic bullshit

Yes... maybe I should blog about what's been pissing me off for almost two weeks.

My family FedExed seven large boxes to me, containing my computer, some extra clothes, quite a few books, some Lipton tea, and some sundries to give the relatives as gifts. All of this was supposed to arrive well before Lunar New Year's.

Instead, all my stuff has been stuck in the Inchon International Airport FedEx Customs holding area because the idiots feel I should pay a tax-- on my own possessions. Why? Because of the sheer volume of items involved.

But, goddammit, nothing is for resale. Just about everything is used, and a lot of it is old, such as the Mac CPU, which dates to 1999 (positively ancient in computer terms). I've been working with family and relatives toward some kind of solution to this mess, but the office is adamant: I have to pay W134,000 in tax.

Tomorrow morning, I give up and pay the fucking tax. It sucks, but there doesn't seem to be any way around it. Many thanks to family and friends who've tried to help.

I'm reminded of what Mark Salzman wrote about his time in China in his fabulous book Iron and Silk: the Chinese bureaucrats loved to play a particular game with foreigners called Let's Make a Regulation. I think something like that is happening here.


Reassure me by buying my book or some of my nasty CafePress products. See the sidebar for links.

UPDATE: Nothing cheers me up quite like an exploding sperm whale.


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