Our Man Friday

Oct 18, 2016

Everyone who lives overseas, whatever their linguistic skills, comes unstuck at some point. There are just some things which require a dexterity of expression or a cultural insider knowledge that a few short years in country just cannot provide. On the whole, failure to fly in these circumstances causes only short term irritation, such as when just having ordered the wrong food delivered or the right food delivered to the wrong address, but sometimes tripping up can have momentous consequences, as when the time comes to move apartment.

When these big life events come around I always get myself on WeChat and contact one person. And in our latest escapade, he proved himself such a godsend and that I thought I would dedicate this article to the services of Jerwin, SIP’s very own Man Friday.

Jerwin hails from Xiamen and has been helping international residents in Suzhou for six years. He has amassed a range of contacts that ease the path of all things. He is the owner of his own company, Suzhou Concierge. The company exists to iron out the rough patches of life overseas.

His services start though in the realm of settling in, with an introduction to China. His tourist arm will organise cars, buses, insurance, hotels, tickets and the planning of tours in and around Jiangsu, Shanghai and Beijing. If you have just arrived and want to experience China then Jerwin has a tour for you.

Another part of his business is Real Estate. Jerwin has contacts with agents who rent out apartments, he will help out with fapiaos (necessary under Chinese law), contracts and ensuring that the apartment you are going to rent is not really up for sale meaning that before you know it you will be forced to move out. His service is strictly for his client and he ensures that landlords do not plan to massively increase the rent in subsequent contracts.

So when this summer we found ourselves having to move apartment it was to Jerwin that we turned. It was with a few days to go that I looked around and realised the scale of the task of packing facing us. Unbelievably, it was only three short years ago that my wife and I arrived in China with only a single suitcase each. We would now need a substantial van. Jerwin whisked up boxes and packing staff and they did the job in one frantic day. Four full-sized suitcases and thirty boxes were needed. We must stop shopping!

The next morning the removal van came, along with the packers turned removal men and women. All in, all the move took two hectic days and cost RMB1100. But they were two hard days for Jerwin and his team. Jerwin stays during the whole process to aid with translation and to ensure that nothing got damaged or lost.

Other services that he offers include car rental, trips to the airport, deliveries, sending parcels and receiving packages. Also, Jerwin can contract local lawyers when required for car or ebike accidents, personal injuries as well as for business purposes like establishing private companies and so on.

He has also helped expats recently with renewing visas, getting mobile phone contracts and setting up alipay accounts. In other words, if you’ve got a problem he will try and solve it. He, of course, does charge for his time and effort and you have to weigh up the price you are prepared to pay for ease and convenience and actually achieving your goal versus having a crack at it yourself for free.

Jerwin has a webpage: http://suzhouconcierge.com and an email address: jerwin@foxmail.com

Find him on WeChat with: jerwinyu

If you use Jerwin after reading this article tell him the password, “FRIDAY” and he will give you a 10% discount on all of his services.


About the Column

Markus Davis

Markus is from the Isle of Wight in the UK and had been living in Suzhou since 2013. It is his first time living in China and before this he was in London. He has been teaching English all of his adult life and in HE since 2000. He is lucky to have his wife with him in Suzhou and together they are making a new life. His interests include eating out (a lot) and exploring local areas on his ebike. And recently, walking a doggie.

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