Getting ripped off comes with being a tourist. It also comes with being American in China when there are almost no other foreigner tourists and you don’t know enough Chinese to fight back. It’s happened a couple of times already, in different ways. Mostly I get angry for a few minutes and then I remember it’s only a difference of a few dollars.
Hmmm…so let us count the follies, shall we? 🙂 These seem minor in hindsight but it’s the principle! Also, when you’re trying to keep at $100/day for the two of us (including lodging), everything helps.
- Shanghai candy store: they charge me 56/unit instead of what I see on the sign is 28/unit. The total is still only 7 RMB and when I get mad, Mike reminds it was only a difference of 50 cents.
- Hangzhou fruit stand: Mike selects two large Asian pears and when we get rung up, the total is 45 RMB, or almost $8!! The guy says it’s because they are premium Korean pears and we’re too embarrassed to put them back so we pay up. We made sure to savor every bite! Haha
- Hangzhou lakeside tourist trap restaurant: we ask how large the soups are and the waitress shows us with her hands that it’s not that big. So we order two bowls plus a vegetable dish. Soup comes out and they are humongous. We barely make a dent and have way too much food. Annoying but cost us maybe an unnecessary $10.
- Hangzhou dinner at Louwailou: famous restaurant. I asked for a recommended vegetable dish and got the fresh bamboo shoots. When the bill came, the bamboo shoots were 58 RMB when vegetable dishes are usually around 12 RMB. Foiled! Always ask how much before ordering!
I’m sure we’ll have many more along the way!
I guess we’re lucky that I speak some, I can’t imagine how difficult it is without knowing the language but I guess you just get by, right?