Funny story OR bad day?

Woke up early this morning 9am!!! Wow. My GF also got up early, for her it’s 10am. We played with our dog and I did my usual web chatting.

My gf goes out to the balcony and says, “our scooter is gone!!”. This isn’t the first time either. Unfortunately the buildings around here have around 700 scooters. There are only 100 parking spots. As I am sure the case is the same everywhere else in Taiwan, all the scooters are parked close together and illegally (ours was). Far be it from me, our building wont let scooters in the underground parking.

So, we went to the holding place. This was the second time in the last 5 weeks or so. We left in such a hurry that we forgot our keys!! A beetle nut type guy called a number for the locksmith. He had a bag of blank keys. He was able to MAKE A KEY for my scooter in 3 minutes with a file (sp?)! I couldn

Well done, I was once locked out of my bedroom. The bill; NT500 for a 5-second job (and in a small town so the travelling time was minimal).
Christ, I’m such a good natured bastard, shouldn’t have let someone f##k me over like that, looking back I should have shagged the locksmith’s wife, daughter (and maybe even the granny for good measure).

I agree with you stevie. I could tell that story a few times over with plumbers, dentists, etc etc etc

I was preparing a nice meal for the guy I was dating when I first moved to Muzha. I had finished cooking and went to pick him up from the MRT station and realized that I didn’t have any keys on me despite checking to make sure I did on the 100 other times I left the place that night to buy last minute items. My roommates were gone and I had no idea who to call…fortunately there were some police officers who were sitting in a car outside of the building. I, through charades skills I have honed since arriving in Taiwan, made them realize that I had no key and needed the assistance of a locksmith. I went to get him and let him know what I had done (fortunately I turned off the stove before I left) and a tenant in my building happen to be at the front door and let us in with the locksmith. Then the locksmith followed us upstairs and opened the door for us only to find my 34-year-old Taiwanese roommate sitting on one of the chairs eating instant noodles and belching. Fortunately, the locksmith waved off my money.
Another time that I got locked out of this apartment (I misplace keys easily), I spent over 4 hours outside with three bag of groceries that started to spoil while I waited for one of my two roommates to come back…all I could think was of all the times I’ve gotten home and cursed because they were home before me…In waiting in that drizzling rain, I counted six cockroaches, 8 mosquito bites, and one rat - less than 10 feet from me.
Then the time I got locked out in Hsintien when my then-roommate and I were going to go our separate ways since our place was being sold by the landlady, I also tried to deal with the inept $2000/mo. useless uniformed lumps asking if they had a spare key I could use as I had my dinner and wanted to sit down and eat it. I sat in lobby eating my now-cold dinner when the lump got up and bitched at me for eating my food with my left hand (seeing as I am left-handed, it’s quite understandable of why I would do such). I tried in vain to explain that I was left handed (much harder to explain via charades than being locked out and needing a keysmith). Finally I asked if my roommate had been through lately since she was apparently the only one who had access to the apartment. He told me that she had moved out that morning. This sent me into a wave of panic since the landlady didn’t even know I was living there. Finally his two brain cells probably reached each other and he volunteered to call for a locksmith using my cell phone. When the locksmith finally came, I got into my place. About an hour later, my roommate, who had moved some furniture but was far from moving out for good, came home.

Isn’t it great the way locksmiths here will let you in to any apartment with no questions asked!

Ha! I hate those guys. What is the trick to dealing with them? Lately I’ve been giving them the “be mean to keep 'em clean method” I dont think that’s working well because I haven’t received some mail I am expecting from back home :shock:

Should I be giving them face before I ask for help with something? How do I do this? I’d like to have a good relationship with these people because they do have information I need! They actually post notices in my building before they tow the scooters! Of course we usually find out after… :x

Problems that currently need fixing:
-water heater leaks on balcony
-air con leaks on neighbours below
-shower stall leaks into bathroom
-window screens need to be replaced because they have holes


Thank God I only lock the front door on special occasions.

I think it’s a combination of both bad day and funny story stevieboy, I’ve had similar things happen. And it would cost must more in western countries and possible days to do what you did in just an hour.

[quote=“stevieboy”]-water heater leaks on balcony
-air con leaks on neighbours below
-shower stall leaks into bathroom
-window screens need to be replaced because they have holes

And all these you can’t fix yourself?

Some are just mean to begin with. Working a shitty job for low pay for 30 years or you being a foreigner is not likely to improve their disposition. if you happen to have some lifestyle habits that differ from your neighbors that could chalk up another notch against you. You being mean is not the answer. I’d always politely say hello or just ignore if that was ignored. A carton of smokes or a bag of fruit or something at new years etc could go a long way.

They likely know the tel. numbers of neighborhood guys who could fix this stuff but that’s all the help I would normally expect.

Hmm. Does not sound like the security guards at my place. They are usually pleasant and friendly - they even try to help, if asked.

[quote=“dl7und”][quote=“stevieboy”]-water heater leaks on balcony
-air con leaks on neighbours below
-shower stall leaks into bathroom
-window screens need to be replaced because they have holes

And all these you can’t fix yourself?[/quote]

I am a teacher not a repairman. I am also paying 12,000 / month rent so expect crap like this to be taken care of!

[quote=“stevieboy”]-water heater leaks on balcony
-air con leaks on neighbours below
-shower stall leaks into bathroom
-window screens need to be replaced because they have holes

Those are the responsibility of the landlords, not the old guy downstairs. And good luck getting them to fix the problems–landlords don’t seem to have the same responsibilities in Taiwan as they do in the US.

We mostly lived in newer places and didn’t have too many problems. When we lived in older places the only time the landlords fixed something was when it was really broken–like when part of the roof got torn off in a typhoon, when the shower started leaking on the people downstairs, and when the water pump got fried. We had to pay for our own screen repairs by one of those guys who roams the streets fixing windows, but it was fast and cheap and he did a good job.

Actually, you might get the landlords to fix the bathtub leak if you can convince them it’s somehow damaging their apartment–then again, most Taiwanese bathrooms are like huge shower stalls anyway. If you can’t get them to take care of the leaking aircon, give their number to the leaked upon neighbors and you might get some action. Or they might just tell you you stop using the aircon. :unamused:

Another caveat: if you can, check if your aircons are really suitable.

We moved in in April, when the weather was cool, and only checked to see that the aircons came on without thinking much about it.

Now that it’s summer, we’ve realised that yeah, we have aircons, but none of them are actually powerful enough to actually cool the rooms they’re in. We’ve already had 2 electrical people in who’ve said the same thing - they cannot add any refrigerant as the aircons are OK.

A new aircon, according to the first electrical guy, that would actually cool the air for us would cost NT$26K to NT$28K EACH, depending on whether you want the anti-bacterial kind or not. Carrefour prices for the high end go from NT$15K onwards depending on how powerful you need them.

Needless to say our landlord insists that the aircons are new (they probably are, actually, the filters don’t even look used) and isn’t in the mood to change any of them.

The last place we stayed in had colder aircons, so we didn’t expect to have this problem.

PS: I’m left handed too and have never had anyone complain about it in Taiwan, though some people have made the observation when they see me eating or using a pen. This is as irritating as “oh, you’ve had a haircut?”, but you get used to it.

When they sell the aircons they usually measure them in ‘ping’, That is how many ping of room the AC will cool effectively. If you have an uncommonly hot apartment, very high ceilings or a doorway without a door, you have to account for that as well. Moreover if you are pushing the AC to its limit, it uses up a lot more power so don’t get one too small.

Now when the stores say how many piung it is, they might be exaggerating a bit. What is more accurate is to look at the ‘BTU’ of the machine. They start about 8000 BTU which should do about a 4 ping room. For 5-6 ping you need 10000 BTU etc. 1 ping is 3.3 sq metres, so measure your room. Prices vary a lot depending on the brand, so shop around.


I don’t know if anyone knows how to properly evacuate and vacuum test air con units here. Ideally they should be evacuated for 24 hours at least once every two years and checked for leaks. (i.e. if there’s air in it after 24 hours there’s a leak). Evacuation also gets rid of any water in there. If they’re not used at all in the winter the rubber joints and seals can dry out and you get a leak. The refrigerant contains lubricant, and if there’s no gas in it, there’s nothing keeping the rubber seals lubricated. Good a/cs should not run empty. I doubt this kind of maintenance is carried out in Taiwan. In the UK I bought an eleven year old Japanese car (which had only spent 2 years in the UK) and the a/c was in perfect order. Maintenance. If after 10 minutes at full blast the unit doesn’t feel uncomfortably cold on your hand held up to the vent, then it’s not working.

Also if you’re getting a split-style A/C, make sure the lagging on the cold pipe is 100% effective. The coolant runs through it a near zero, so any gaps in the insulation will cost you a fortune. Check the fan actually blows enough air to reach the corners of the room. There is no use having a system which can produce 20,000 BTU if the fan isn’t blowing the air around adequately.

I agree with Brian. I usually work on 2,000BTU per ping. But I’m from a very cold place.

I locked myself out last year and the locksmith got through the security door in, oh it must have taken him at least 3 seconds. Why bother installing the bloody thing?

Usually I’m pretty good about this kind of thing, and actually fasten my keys to my body most of the time. But that’s not always enough!

I took over over an apartment from someone who had just returned from the USA the day of the move, and was jet-lagged to hell and back.

I put my meagre pile of stuff on the floor and left them sweeping their belongings into boxes. My final words were “I don’t have a key to the security lock. Please only use the normal lock when you go.”

Result? I came home from work at 8 to find that they had locked me out. Tried calling, but went straight to voicemail as they were now unconscious at their new home. No, I didn’t know the address.

Walked down the road and found myself a locksmith, who followed me home and stared into the hole in the door for ten minutes. Then he shook his head, packed his bag and walked away muttering. Beyond his abilities! At last I had found a secure apartment!

I gave up at midnight and went to find a hotel, only to be disturbed at 3:30 by my phone ringing and a very apologetic lady asking me if I had managed to get in.

She paid for the hotel.

Next time anybody’s got any trouble getting into a house, just call me.

Last night I was planning to go to some nice little lounge bar near SOGO, but noooo, had to change my mind, why? why? why?

My co-worker phoned me and invited me to go to (sob!) 99 since she couldn’t find anybody to go with her. So (sob!) I went and my bag got stolen. I immediately phoned my number and the phone was turned off so I knew it wasn’t just misplaced or whatever. I guess I was getting careless…I would never leave anything on a table in South Africa, but since I usually go to Spin where we just throw all our stuff in one corner or to other Taiwanese-frequented places where this kind of thing seldom happens I did, and now it’s gone. The worst part is all the people that I was with were actually standing around the table, and I was right at the next table because my friend wanted to introduce me to this band called Chthonic (spelling?) whose lead singer owns or manages or somethings Zeitgeist.

And since I was wearing a skirt I had nothing on me, no phone, no keys, no money, NOTHING. God, I even lost my Spin VIP card. And they don’t make those anymore. And I’ve had my wallet since I was 12! We were commenting on that just the other day…and my stupid ARC. And my stupid phone is three years old, so the stupid tit who took it probably can’t even do anything with it and chucked it. And I have no money so I’ll probably only be able to buy a phone around December.

The boss at 99 has some of my friends’ numbers on his phone so I asked him to phone them, but nobody answered at 2 in the morning. So after a while I left and went to Spin where I was running around going “Somebody stole my Spin card! Somebody stole my Spin card!” and the dj must have heard (ha!) because he got all sympathetic and played THREE LMF songs in a row, and some White Zombie and Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. So I was dancing and everybody bought me drinks (which NEVER happens in Spin) and I quite forgot about my little dilemma.

But the worst part is this little guy who I quite like and have known for three years decided he wanted to go home with me (which NEVER happens), and then of course, I didn’t have my bloody keys so I had to say NOOO! And he lives with his mother, of course. And he said well, maybe tomorrow night and I thought yeah right, tomorrow night we’ll both be sober and it’s just NOT going to happen. (note to self: get drunk in Spin more often)
And then this guy cried on my shoulder because his girlfriend broke up with him two months ago, and I met that band from 99 again, and went back to that evil evil place and the boss kept following around going sorry, sorry, but I’m the stupid idiot not him. And now I’m sitting here typing this stuff because I’m too angry to sleep, even though all I envisioned after it got to about 4 was my bed and me in it. Had a long, long summer vacation day.

One good thing is that I ran into this obnoxious guy who I discovered too late was married, the shit, and he was all upset because he’s been phoning me and I said well, my phone’s been stolen. And he said but it rings when I phone, so I just said not anymore and disappeared back into the crowd. Even worse is, that is a bad experience from the LAST time I went to 99…must have been around December or January (yeah right, I hear you all say).

And then it was 7 and I thought it’s not too early to wake up the neighbours, so I buzzed somebody and they let me into the building, but didn’t open their door. So I pulled my skirt up until it was around my waist, showing off my tigerskin undies to the neighbour’s dog that was so amused that he didn’t even bark as I climbed past his house and landed quite gracefully on the roof. I wet my entire arm in the kiddie pool and shoved it through the burglar bars (a rather painful experience), grabbed onto the doorknop with two fingers and using all my chi energy (read: alcohol-induced power as I would normally probably have considered the entire procedure to be an impossible feat) to open the door to the sound of wildly excited screaming guinea pigs.

So next time you’re in a fix, just feed me a couple of drinks and give me a call. (or a PM as I seem to have misplaced my phone).

p.s. Is it normal to feel kind of violated when something like this happens, I feel like I have given up some kind of control, and I’m imagining somebody somewhere checking out all my personal stuff and I can’t sleep.