Wednesday, July 07, 2010

727 Taipei Followup

727 Taipei Followup

It's time for a small show of thanks to the overseas relatives. They want for little to nothing materially, but at this point a gesture of gratitude is appropriate. Time to send something they can't get easily over there, but that's plentiful over here. After considerable thought, the decision was to send a dietary supplement they like. Bottles of this stuff are really really expensive there, relatively cheap here.

Forty bucks for a big supply. GNC and similar chains won't ship internationally. No prob. We'll just buy the stuff and send it. Not big, not heavy. $XXX via UPS. A mere $XX by USPS. And pages and pages of declarations and signatures and customs documents and estimated values and actual weight. Taipei ZIP codes are only three digits. That doesn't work on the American form. Taipei addresses, as regular readers know, are sometimes complicated. This lane, that alley off this street. The post office apparently doesn't recognize Taiwan as a country. Okay, try the Republic of China. No, no, not the People's Republic of China, JUST the Republic of China. No such place. Try "R.O.C." Oh, THAT.

So shipping this stuff is more expensive than buying this stuff.

Clerk: "You didn't fill out the phone number."

Customer: Okay, it's 09 4356-2310."

Clerk: "That doesn't fit in our forms. If this can't be delivered, do you want it sent to the dead letter office or 'return to sender?'"

Aw c'omon. Is this the first package ever sent from the US to Taiwan? Not likely.

So, their ZIP codes are three digits instead of nine, and their phone numbers are eight digits instead of seven and their area codes are two digits instead of three. How DARE they!

Smartalecs use metrics and Celcius, too. Must be part of a commie conspiracy to undermine the "real" scales, ZIP codes, area codes and telephone numbers of us real Americans. Oh. Wait. They fled from the commies. Well, it's obviously a conspiracy of some sort.


--Eating champ Takeru Kobayashi was barred from the July 4th Nathan's hot dog contest by (you're not going to believe this) a "contract dispute." A group called Major League Eating (I'm not making this up!) has exclusive rights to represent the contestants and Kobayashi wouldn't sign up. Instead, to the cheers of his fans, he jumped onto the stage joining the "legal" eaters, was arrested and held overnight until a judge sprang him.

--You can't make this stuff up: Jean Stevens, 91, of Wyalusing in north east Pennsylvania gets to keep the dead bodies she's been living with, her late husband and her twin sister. She was ordered to build a mausoleum for them and has agreed.

--How quickly we forget. BP's American Depository Receipts were up sharply early in the week. Does that mean the crisis in the gulf is over, or does Wall Street know something the rest of us don't?

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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