Friday, August 28, 2009

Plans Can't Keep up with Changes

I think I've already introduced you to the "three ambiguities" we learned about China in our training, but if not, here they are again:

1) Nothing is as it seems.
2) Plans can't keep up with changes.
3) If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

I got to experience #2 this week.  Our foreign affairs officer called my team leader around 9 p.m. on Wednesday night to tell her that she would take me to the police station at 9 the next morning to complete the paperwork for my residence permit.  So at 9 the next morning, we went over to her office, and (lo and behold), the plan had changed.  She said that the necessary people were out of town, so she would call me later in the afternoon and we would go then.

Later that afternoon, she drove me down to the station and we got everything squared away.  It was a good example for me of how plans here are often made and changed at the last minute.  Once all my paperwork goes through, I'll be an official resident of Qufu!

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