Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for January 8th, 2010

Twilight in Beijing

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 8, 2010


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Prices of Goods in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 8, 2010


Life is cheap, as in abundantly cheap in China. I will now tell you just how cheap it is, and remember, these prices are from Beijing, the second most costly city in the mainland..

The exchange rate at present is about 6.88 RMB to the dollar

Meal for 12, 8 meat dishes 6 vegetable dishes- local cuisine, 344 rmb or ~ 48U$ at nanlishulu road

bowl of rice 1 to 5 rmb ~ $.14 to $.7

Mercedes station wagon 280 000 RMB ~ $41,000

photo copy 5 jiao (jiao is half of 1  mao, mao is 1/10 of rmb) ~ $.01 (for instance if one were so inclined they could copy a 2100 page book for about 127 rmb) or 20 US…

Seafood for 2 at great restaurant (3 small crab, snails, 2 sides, rice) 350 rmb  ~ 52$

Meal at Mexican joint – chimichangas, fajitas, nacho entree, 2 cokes 180 rmb ~ $28

cheap shirt 20 rmb ~ 3 $

cheap jacket 60 rmb ~ $8.80

cheap knock of f cell 200 rmb  ~ 28$

snickers candy bar 4 rmb ~ $ .6

Red bull 6 rmb ~ $ .89

cigs 6 to 8 rmb ~ $.8  – 1.1

massage foot, 60 minutes 60 rmb ~ $8.3

Massage foot and body 2 hours total 188 rmb (expensive place) ~ 28.6 $

hair cut 4 rmb to 1600 (innludes extensions) ~ $ .6 to 250

Apple 5 rmb ~ $ .7

Starbucks biggest cup, forget the damned name  36 rmb ~ $5.25

McDonalds lunch special 15 to 21 Rmb ~ $2.2 to 3.1

Subway spicey Italian  18 rmb ~ $2.80

living in China

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Stocking Stuffer Nation- Chinese Product Quality

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 8, 2010


Because of being pc and all I will start off by saying that I love China, and then profess the usual disclaimers so as to avoid lawsuits or heaven forbid that I be called a racist. Whew, that said, This country has some shitty indigenous products in terms of quality.
Thats right, I said it, whatchagonnado about it??? I mean seriously, it is like living the day after Christmas, well without the large families- here they have a one child rule, and without Santa- here they don’t believe, and without Jesus- ditto, but other than that, well ok, not really like Christmas, but let me make my point.
Remember stocking stuffers? Those really cool little gadgets that were cheap as shit and had a life span equal to that of a may fly (these bastards can have a life span of 30 min to a day read here), so you get my point.

Anyway, when I first came here, I noticed that the products had that cheap Wal-mart, or worse yet, Kmart blue light special feel, the kind of thing you just hope will not fail before you make it to the door. Well those childhood memories have been reignited. The old saying of caveat emptor is alive and well in China. For instance, I was shaving the other day, opted for the cheap local brand, 7 rmb versus 110 for a good Schick (that is 1 U$ versus about 14$). Anyway, I have found that this economy model shaver actually is not that economical. For instance, out of the pack, nearly 50% of the blades are useless, can’t even cut my arm hair, then about 40% will last a day, and one blade will be good for about a week or so.

I say this as I look at my face and receive what we call a “life lesson”. This morning, as I hacked away with the economy blade, i have left my face in such a state of disrepair that I look frightful. The blade did such a number on my face that the coagulating blood makes it look like I lapped spaghetti O’s from a cup. Yeah, I might as well claw at my face with cinder blocks, as use this evil things.

So what will it be tomorrow? Dont know, still think U$14 is a lot of cash to sink on razors.

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