18 January 2009

Today, it's a big day. Taiwan is the first country give consumer voucher. Not only me, but also DC, we get 3600 (NTD) consumer vouchers each. That's a great start of the year of ox. Of course, we are very happy to receive free vouchers, but on the other hand, we can't stop wondering where the money come from and end up with. The consumer voucher is aimed to prop up the slumping economy, but will it work? The Executive Yuan estimates that the issuance of the consumer vouchers will cost 82.9 billion NTD. The source of the money will come from special budget in hope to raise 0.64% of economic growth for 2009, in an effort to stimulate the economy . Talking about this, the system they used to give away those consumer vouchers is the system they use for election. But, it's much more efficient this time. 93% of TW ppl claim their voucher today, 18th Jan, from 8 AM to 5 PM. There is a news: Policemen arrest 30 escaped criminal while they claim their vouchers.
Here is a story when we go to claim DC's voucher. DC's voucher counter is in different school and there are 5 classroms. We follow the direction and the policeman comes forward and push us into one of the classroom. Policeman keeps saying go ahead, but there is a long queue and we don't want to break the queue. There are 3 claiming tables in this classroom but only one entrance. While policeman tries to push us in, the ppl on the queue start to complain: You can't break the queue, just because of the white guy and why can he have the voucher? blah-blah-blah... Before I open my mouth, the Policeman speaks in loud and confident voice: "You and the white guy pick up the voucher on different table. We are efficient. You can queue up here but no need to block the entrance." Be honest, I am a bit in shock with this policeman. He's a nice guy, but too loud, especially right on my ear. When we arrive the counter, funny things keep coming up. There are 3 worker (I think they are teachers) work on this table and they need to comfirm DC's ID and give him the voucher. The man asks DC's name and ID in Mandarin. I wonder, if this table is for foreign spouse, English will be the proper language, isn't it? After this, the woman asks for DC's chop, again, in Mandarin. And then, even the man who gives voucher speaks in Mandarin, asks DC to check the amount. Well, KHH is going to hold an international sports event this year and the city spent a lot of money on language classes for teachers and policemen etc. But, I haven't seen any of them make the effort to communicate. We always joke about it, it's funny to see the person's face when they sees the white guy engaging us in conversation. Most of them will turn pale or run away.
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