When it Rains, it Pours- SOL

Today’s been a “Bad China Day,” well a “Bad China Night” is more accurate. Today was OK.

My friend Linnea and I are traveling together for Spring Break, which is in 4 weeks. After researching numerous beach destinations, we realized that it was going to cost us an arm and a leg, so when we came across a cheap flight to Seoul, we abandoned our beach getaway idea for a more cultural, albeit colder, vacation. We finally knew where we were going to go. The hard part was over, right? Wrong.

On Friday, we tried to book our flights. After choosing the flight times we wanted and filling in all the personal information, we came to the payment page on the website, only there were no fields in which to enter our credit card information. We clicked “next,” thinking we’d see the credit card info on the next page, but instead we encountered an error page. After several more attempts, we decided to try it again this weekend. Linnea came over yesterday and we gave it another go. At this point, we were both in high spirits and confident that it would work. Wrong again. This time we were both able to enter our credit card information, but mine was rejected because I apparently “entered the wrong address.” I know my address, but for some reason the website did not agree with me. Linnea’s issue was that her “bank name was wrong.” Again, the website was incorrect. After several more failed attempts, we decided to try again tomorrow.

This brings us to today. Instead of trying the website, we opted to call and make our flight reservations. We ended up having to call 3 different numbers before we were speaking to the correct department. The price we were quoted on the phone was higher than the website price, and when we asked about it, we were told that in order to get the cheaper price, we needed to book online. If she books it for us, it costs more. After going around and around, explaining how we would gladly do that if the website would accept our credit

cards, we agreed to pay the higher price so that we could be done with it. She took down our information and told us she’d call us back to let us know if the payment went through. I need to tell you that while this sounds like it was easy and painless, it was not. Taking down our information took no less than 30 minutes. Seriously. So she calls us back and asks us if our Union Pay cards (our Chinese bank cards) are credit cards because they cannot accept debit cards. Nope, they are not. “Do you take VISA?” I ask. Yes, they do. We again give her our payment details. She will call us back to let us know. “Are your VISA cards issued in Mainland China?” she asks. Nope, they aren’t. Apparently you must pay with a Chinese-issued credit card. You know what lady? This information would have been super helpful when we called an hour and a half ago. Grrrr! Needless to say, we do not have a flight to Korea yet. Oh, but if we call yet another number, we can pay with our American VISAS or pay in cash, but the price is more. Yeah…no thanks.

Then to top off that whole fiasco, I update my VPN (since I received an email claiming the update will give me “faster, more reliable service”) only to find that I cannot connect at all now. One of the many joys of living in China is the need to use a VPN to connect to sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and believe it or not, TWT. So…unless I can get my VPN working again, I won’t even be able to post this slice. Double Grrrr!

Here’s hoping I get my VPN to work so I’m able to slice today! 😉 

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