Pay the water fees

This morning I did not have classes so I decided to pay the tab and waste water fees. About two weeks ago someone checked our meter and some days later we had a bill telling us to pay 14 RMB, about 1,40 Euros. Actually they were due last Friday, but neither me nor my roommate was volunteering to go to the bank to pay the fees. But it obviously is not a problem to be a little late, I did not have to pay any penalty whatsoever.

This morning I finally had the chance to go the the “Bank of China” (中国银行) to pay the water fees (交水费). At least I had been in a Chinese bank before when I changed my money to pay my tuition. So I knew that I was supposed to get a number when I entered the bank, but I did not see the machine where to get a slip of paper. Finally someone from the bank came to me and silently pointed to the machine – I guess he did not expect me to speak any Chinese because I seemed to be confused (because I did not know where the machine was). The slip I got told me that I was customer number 1062 and there were 15 people ahead of me. The bank only had three counters for private banking, so it took quite a while. Most of the time there was no customer at one of the three counters for business customers, but the “private banking service” did only take place at the counters designed for private banking.
It seemed to take forever, so I was happy that I had expected to have to wait, so I brought my study book and did some homework. Then everything suddenly went really fast: Two costumers in front of me did not want to wait, so number 1060 and 1061 were announced twice but nothing happened. Obviously the bank employees just called the next one if the customer is not at the counter after being called for twice. So I was surprised that my number was announced just a moment after 1959 left – I appeared at the counter with the study book in my hand.

The payment itself went really quick, the employee asked for the money, stamped all the three receipt (for me, the bank and the water company) twice and everything was done. I’d say it’s quite an inconvenient way to pay 1,40 Euros to the water company but what should I do? Not pay and risking the water to be cut off?!
Apropos cutting off: Two days ago the heating was finally cut off. Our landlord had told us that the heating period in Beijing only lasts until March 15, no matter how cold the weather would be. Actually a few days ago the temperature was only a few degrees above the freezing point. But today it felt almost like spring: It was sunny, not too cold and the trees in front of our faculty building have started to bloom.

Library at Beida
One of the rare sunny days in Beijing.

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