Sunday, February 17, 2008

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Recently I've been feeling guilty about not giving Poopy enough out-of-cage time, so I let him run around in the balcony while I was hanging clothes and paying some bills online. Yesterday I found this:

Chewed-through cable.  Great.

The impressive part of the story is how easy this printer USB cable was to replace. I quickly found several matching cables on Taobao, all in the RMB 5-10 range. I contacted one seller who happened to be online at the time on 旺旺, Taobao's IM service, to confirm the cable's length and availability. He chased down the courier who had just finished picking up some items, and sent off my cable that very hour. Since we're both in Shanghai the delivery fee was only RMB 5 for 快递 courier service. I paid for the item instantaneously with Alipay using ICBC's online banking service; I have — and often use — the USB security dongle that lets you complete transactions online. The total cost: RMB 12, about a dollar and a half.

This morning I got a wake-up call from the courier at 10 AM. My cable is here, and I can finish the bill-paying process by printing out the receipts that I saved in image format on the computer.

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