Life in a Crowded World

Life in Shanghai is tough. Who should we complain when there are so many people asking for the same service?

Long Lines in Banks

“Never, ever try to use any bank in Xujiahui area”, warned Wendy.

This is true. Last time Wendy went to Bank of China and got a service ticket. It stated that there are 180 people waiting before her.

One and half hour later, when she is back, there are still 150 people before her. At 4:00, when she is back again, her number just passed, and she has to get back to the bank the second day again.

The bank is full of people who have waited hours to deposit or withdraw money.

The online service of Bank of China does not really work, so there are not many options for its customer.

For me, banks are not different. The most common thing is, if you go to one bank, you will swear not to go to this bank again for the rest of your life. I did so for ICBC (ICBC – A Customer’s Experience), and other banks (Service Quality of Banks in China (Shanghai)).

Parking Lot

I gave up Carrfour many times just because the parking lot was too crowded, and there is no parking lot.

I gave up IKEA the last week for the same reason. I also gave up my goods in my shopping cart just to avoid the long line.

Train Ticket

Train tickets are even more ridiculous. Read on

15 thoughts on “Life in a Crowded World

  1. My mentor told me a tricky way to this problem.

    Please pay great attention to the ground and the garbage bin. There is chances that you can find a very close number. :-)

    There are always people who has not the patience to wait in the bank and throw away his service ticket.

  2. Same situation in Bank of China in Meilong Lu… People sent their kids there with a mobile phone !! Later they came in a taxi, HAHA !

    China is IN FACT the world’s most hyper-capitalist country (you will find out after living here a short while), and the bank system just sucks !


  3. the service of Bank of china is not good. They don’t even have a internet bank to transfer money. Among the big 4 banks, i wholeheartedly recommend you to try Construction Bank(CCB). it gave me confidence when thinking of Bank of China and ICBC.

    Also , the CCB branch at xujiahui closed at 6pm from Monday- Friday. its so sweet.

  4. local banks are always full of people… foreign banks operating in China are having too few branches so inconvenient either…

    it really takes gut to visit a bank :-)

  5. this is the country I experience rudest customer service for a bank… seems like you have to beg them to deposit or withdraw your money.

    Since the bank is so wealthy, why can’t they invest on the online banking. It will save everybody a lot of trouble. They are so many techno geeks around.

    JS, maybe Kijiji shall make a proposal to be the implementor. Anymore volunteers to make this work?

  6. China is going through a serious case of growing pain. China is trying to catch-up with what took the other folks 60 years progressively to accomplish. No worries, Chineses people are fast learning is just matter of time.

  7. >>>>No worries, Chineses people are fast learning is just matter of time.

    just learning is not good enough, don’t you think they know already? it’s the practice that matters, and it’s easy to hide behind thousands of years of “culture”.

  8. It is horrible. I am afraid of shanghai now. In canada, perhaps, most chinese people are not rich ,but the bank service is perfect. By the way, Bank of china perhaps is NO1 among all banks in china. why its online bank is not good?

  9. Jianshuo, it doesn’t help when you are complaining these on your blog. Why not leave this country to be a foreigner? I guess that’s what you love to do.

  10. Hi, I am Aditya from India.

    I found the posts about the banks in China quiet interesting.

    Well, here in India, the situation is quiet the opposite. The banks are going out of their way to provide better customer service. There are many branches of the banks and the number of ATMs is ever greater.

    There are private banks such as ICICI, HDFC, HSBC, and others who offer world class service both at the branch as well as over the internet.

    Its not that that there are not problems… there are…. but in the last decade the Indian banking has changed so much that these negatives can be overlooked.

    Moreover, with the increasing competition, the state owned banks such as Bank of India, State Bank of India and others are pulling up their socks and have improved their operations and IT infrastructure. Infact the state owned banks prove to be better in personalized banking services.

    I have been exposed to the banking in the metro cities only, so I wont comment much on the banking in rural India, but from what I gather, most of the banks have realized the potential to reach out to the masses in rural areas and are working towards that.

    By the way, I found this blog to be very interesting. The layout is good and it gives a fair idea about the life in China.

    Thanks, continue blogging.


    Mumbai, India

  11. U know, U’r all correct in ur assumptions and observations. BC sucks, online banking … just to get registered … forget it and thumbs up to you who think it’s better not to enter China or if U’r so depressed about the state of everything not to stay any longer. I’ve been around here for a while and even got married to a SHA women – well, the Chinese are right when they call their women “girls” that’s what they are, never growing up … navel-perspective of everything – that’s true for the “boys’ too. But maybe that’s one of the reasons why China takes it’s time to develop – yes, they’ve learned a lot over the past handful of decades, and yes, that doesn’t mean that things have or even will change in the near or distant future. Chinese were, are, and will always be a proud people and will never “copy” or “listen to” what others are doing better. Just wait and be patient, it will change, if not in this life then in the next one or the one after or the one after the one after and then the now so glorified “modern life” will eventually crystallize only that it’ll be late for at least fifty odd years … again.

    U’r still reading? I wonder why. This was, is and always will be China – backwards for as long as U and I will live, so let’s get used to it and just do what Chinese do in this situation – ignore it and pretend that it’s not. Or did you really believe that here is any Chinese who could actually care a sh*t about what U or I think about the “Greatest Country” with the “Greatest People”? (watch “Borat” and you know what I mean)

    Let me close this:

    – to let steam off from all the frustrations we experience day in and day out in this “so wonderful” place is ok, but

    – it doesn’t make any difference nowhere. Not in the mystic believe that Western people have about China and not in the crabby illusion this country is in and will be in for another while.

    = So, if you’ve or will come here, realize and conform to the fact that U’r a guest and if that’s too much then stay away. There’s no harm in doing either way.

    Yours truly,

    Sue Brag

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