The process goes a little like this:
1. Get income and tax form from employer (easy breezy)
2. Get tax form from gov’t Tax Bureau (easier the second time around)
3. Sit in bank for several hours while you: fill out forms, (curse under breath) answer stupid questions, fill out forms again (curse. — but not under your breath), sit and wait for 20 minutes at a time while the rep types in every detail about your life, (curse under breath), sit and fake smile while they take your photo, (curse under breath), sit another 20 minutes while she types again, (too tired to curse anymore), put in PIN # numerous times into the little PIN machine, (giving up, China wins again), wait impatiently while the bank exchanges the rmb into USD (which requires two separate accounts btw), after waiting and hour, insist you do not want to be here for two hours like you were last time, listen to response “okay, okay”, and wait again while the bank finally transfers the money to the US bank. After the first 45 minutes, try not to cuss anyone out or commit violence beyond what is going on in your head, or alternatively, walk out in fury.*
The afternoon started out surprisingly well as I found the Tax Bureau so easily, found an empty service window, and got help immediately after pulling my Foreigner Card**. I didn’t have to wait long to get the form, and then I was on my way. I had everything I needed to exchange and transfer money, which is quite a long list:
- Employer Income Form (officially red stamped!)
- Employment Contract
- Tax Bureau Tax Form
- Bank Card
- All the damn bank forms filled out in BLACK ink, and filled out VERY NEATLY (the first time I transferred money they made me refill the &%*&%#!* form out again, because my writing wasn’t NEAT ENOUGH!)
So now I’ve been here over an hour and she is still inputting data into the computer.
NOW THEY WANT ANOTHER GODDAMN FORM FILLED OUT BECAUSE THERE WAS AN ERROR ON ONE LINE (not my fault) and my signing for the error is not okay. WE ARE NOW ON THREE OF THE SAME EFFING FORMS FILLED OUT BECAUSE OF completely ASANINE STUPIDITY in legislation. However, the clerk said she would fill it out, which is smart, because I can no contain the desire to curse.
In the time I’ve been waiting, I’ve managed to type this entire blog post. Nothing has actually been accomplished in 30 minutes... just typing in the computer. FUCK THIS.
*Important to note that all employees of the bank are exceptionally courteous, friendly, and helpful. Several even speak enough English to help with the forms. It is not the people’s fault as usual, it is the IDIOCRACY that reigns here.
**The Foreigner Card is just like the Blonde Card, though I don’t know if it works with cops here (wink)!