Sunday, November 19, 2006

Honestly, China


The ATMs in China will only give you 100 RMB bills. This is reasonable enough— roughly equivalent to $12 USD, they’re the biggest China has, and a few of them will last you though a week. The trouble comes when you try to use them. For unknown reasons, shopkeepers and cashiers in China are fanatical about exact change, and no matter how you try to pay for your 7.5 RMB bag of persimmons, they’ll look at you dolefully and ask if, perhaps, you have 5 mao— half an RMB.

But when you whip out a 100 RMB note, that's when all hell really breaks loose. The proprietor will usually open with a startled shriek, and look slowly up at you with an expression that seems to cry “et tu, Brute?” I usually try to look abashed and mumble in Chinese, but it’s often a lost cause; if I’m making a purchase under 5 or 10 RMB, they’ll turn away my business in favor of some ass with an endless supply of small bills. Honestly, China, what's the problem here?

The generator above is just another example of Chinese ingenuity, along with gunpowder and paper. In other news, yesterday's baseball game was canceled-- we showed up, and cars were parked all over our fields. Apparently, there was a Ping Pong tournament in the neighboring gym that had attracted an overwhelming crowd. Honestly, China, get a real national sport.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There must be some secret method for getting change for a larger RMB bill? An art you are no doubt cultivating...

On the ping pong front, have yolu seen any tournaments? Might be entertaining...is this actually their national sport? It does have the merit of requiring less space than baseball, football (world version or American). Thus more people get to play.

I've heard that basketball is the fastest growing sport in China...is this true?

Daaa

19/11/06 12:04 PM  
Blogger amcanannie said...

ha! et tu, brute...so true!

19/11/06 1:45 PM  

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