I have to tell my violin story. Here it is.
I have been teaching violin lessons for several years. Those of you who know me may ask... "How is it possible that I who do not play the violin am able to teach violin lessons?" I admit, it is a very viable question, however, I will not take the time to discuss the very intricate and detailed answer within this blog at this time. You may use your imagination.
Actually, I think I will sponsor a contest - to see who can come up with the best explanation for this conundrum, and the winner will win a prize to come stay at my house with me for free! The free part is the staying with me part of course -and is all inclusive as food and beverages will also be provided.
The contest rules are as follows:
1. All entries will be judged based on their merits of credibility and creativity - not necessarily in that order
2. All entries must be submitted as comments to this blog.
3. The entry cut-off date is May 22, 2008 at 5:00 pm.
Okay, back to my story now.
The funny part of the story might be the part about me (a non violin player) teaching lessons (yes I charge) using a very small violin (but it isn't), but yes, - not only do I not play the violin, but I don't even have one that is not a child's size - I have been using a violin which is 1/10th of a normal violin size. Yes, quite amusing , "Here Johnny, let me show you how that's done (on my mini violin)..." However, it gets even better.
On a whim, I decided that just maybe, I should look into getting a violin for myself. I know, I could consider it a business investment! I looked at the music store, but wasn't really impressed. I then considered Costco, but then, I just wasn't sure.
In the end I went where every savvy consumer goes - ebay.
Now, I had heard stories of ridiculously cheap violins. I have also seen some of them. Yes, they were a dollar, but their ribs were cracked etc, therefore the sound was awful, and they weren't really great. However, as I was glancing through, I found a violin - a full size, for $3.47. I couldn't believe my luck, and thought I might just take the gamble. The description also said "have case." The seller was from China. Hmmm I said to myself, the price is right - just maybe. So I bid on the violin and didn't get it for $3.48. However, the next day I received an e-mail for a second chance at $3.49. I checked out the shipping. The monetary value was C115 (or somewhere thereabouts.) So, I double checked to see where it would be shipped from. The address was someplace in China. I found a currency converter and found that the shipping was only $15 US. Wow- I figured that $18 for a violin would be a steal.
I made the bid.
Later, I found that I had won the bid. I was thrilled. However, I wasn't sure what the final total (in US) would be, so I sent the seller an e-mail. The response was,
"Dear Good Friend, You send the money now, OK?" and something else in Chinese.
Shall we say slight miscommunication? Finally, I found total invoice and couldn't believe that the 'C' in front of the shipping amount was actually Canadian (right - why wouldn't I have assumed this?)
So - I ended up buying my little violin for a little more than $18 US. However, (here's the fun part) I also bought a necklace for $0.60 from the same buyer, and sort of ran into the same problem, however it was considerably less expensive for the shipping and the shipping costs were from China.
Finally, after waiting for several weeks, I went to the PO, and found a package waiting for me. It looked a little bit like a small coffin.
I was on my way to a friend's house, so I took it with me. There, I opened it up, and inside was my violin.
Initially, I was disappointed that I only received the one package, and assumed the necklace would come in a couple of days or so. However, I found the necklace within the violin case!
In addition to the necklace (which was mis-beaded), I got some bonus costume jewelry. They threw in two bracelets and a really great adjustable ring (well, it would be great if I were a rapper, which I'm not.)
I thought it was the funniest thing ever - the extra jewelry and all. Also, I'm pretty sure the opals on the necklace are not really opal -they look like painted glass - I'm sure they were painted with lead.
Well - there is no moral of the story - you may wish to weave it into your contest entry, but in the meantime a word to the wise. "Beware of non-english speaking (and writing)violin selling Chinese Canadians!"
4 days ago