have been non-existent. Unless you count random hours of blazing hot heat followed by lightning and downpours that flood up to your ankles. It's officially summertime here as of June 21st...was that the date back in the States as well? I don't even know anymore, the seasons just come and pass and blend...
Since it's my last summer in Taipei, I've been feeling Taiwan in a different light. Showing newbies around is fun-but it gives me a weird bittersweet feeling to watch someone experience everything new again. I don't care to marvel at the base of Taipei 101 anymore and I don't care for night market food and I can't stand the humidity. I want to feel excited about living here still-and there are still lots of fun things to do and stuff to discover but my heart just isn't into it anymore. (*Cheesy note: My heart is in San Francisco!)
I've been throwing a lot of BF's (Bitch Fits) around over random taiwanese customer service disputes. ONE example. I sat down at Sushi Express (Taiwanese chain) and tried to order, and got handed a sign that said in English-"Due to the majority of customer complaints, we no longer take individual orders." It's a conveyer belt sushi place, and they have ALWAYS taken orders...so I refuse to go there anymore. Sometimes I go to a place and order food, but they serve something else instead and insist that I eat it because they are out of what I ordered. Unacceptable. Even IKEA here didn't have a popular drawer in stock and I had to go back 3 times before just getting something else. My boyfriend put it best-they follow a 'computer says no' rule. No creativity to make the situation better for the customer, just apologies..or explanations that don't make sense. Maybe it's just the language barrier, maybe it's cultural, maybe it's just happening a lot in my life lately.
But today I went into a mexican joint called Juanita's, and asked for a steak quesadilla. I had just finished 2 hours of intense Spanish grammar classes, and I was hungry. The guy was about to point out that they didn't have it on their menu before I noticed, until a different guy behind him popped up and offered to make one for me anyway, since they had all the ingredients already. I cannot express how grateful and happy I was for such a simple burst of thoughtful customer service. It totally made my day. However, the guy behind the counter spoke had a Californian accent and I'm pretty sure he was an ABC.
Actually, the last foreign service I used, Steven's Movers (moving service), I was also extremely impressed and satisfied with the whole procedure. Two friendly matching guys arrived exactly on time with a nice moving truck, came up and expertly flipped the couch at an angle and cruised out the door within minutes. About a minute later I got a call from Steven himself to check that the job got done and that it was done well. Steven had a clear foreign accent himself, and I was so thrilled to get a follow-up call. I highly recommend them for moving anything!
The rants and raves above are bias from my point of view, so I hope I didn't offend anyone. The point is, everyone appreciates and deserves good customer service. There are tons of exceptions, like my cool Taiwanese dentist (check up texts to make sure painkillers are doing their job!) and local men fighting to open up the washer at the laundromat this morning when something was stuck in the door. Eh.
Checking out now! xx