People around here are really good at pissing me off.
Let’s get this clear, it’s the weekend, I’m at the Haidian campus. This is not just another whinge about the evils of Changping.
So far I’ve got into arguments with both of the nearby beer sellers. See, usually I buy my beers from one of the local xiaomaibu, then take my empties back when I need more beer. That way I pay 2 kuai per bottle for the first round, then only 1.5 per bottle thereafter. It’s not a huge amount of money, but the savings add up over the course of a year, and it saves me the hassle of having to dispose of cans or bottles bought from the supermarket.
One time I tried the closer of the two places. I went at lunchtime, a woman was there, she swapped my bottles for the usual 1.5 each when you’re returning empties. That evening I went back, and there’s a man instead. He tried to charge me 2 kuai per bottle even though I was returning empties. I argued with him and pointed out that every bloody shop everywhere only charges 1.5. I guess he finally realised I wasn’t going to be cheated or bullied as easily as the few other foreigners around.
Yesterday I went to the regular place, which is slightly further away, but the regular guy wasn’t there. Instead there was a woman I assume was his wife and an old guy who must’ve been his father or father-in-law. I took three empties and a bottle cap promising a free bottle. The regular guy would have charged me 1.5 for each of the bottles swapped and 5 mao to swap the bottle cap for a free bottle, total of 5 kuai. But this woman said no. I could only swap the three empties, and I’d have to bring back a fourth bottle to get the free one. I started to protest, saying that yesterday there was no problem, but she refused to listen and started arguing back. Thing is, if, like the other guy who tried to overcharge me that one time, she’d presented her point of view and listened to mine, we could have come to some agreement. But she flat refused. In fact, she just shouted back at me that it was completely impossible in this horrible, shrill, rude voice. And the old guy pretended that there was absolutely no way they could break a hundred (I had no small change). The result, of course, was me pointing out in no uncertain terms that the pair of them were amazingly stupid and had no idea how to do business.
It’s a stupid argument, of course, and I could’ve handled it better, of course, but this bitch was just so rude and I refuse to accept that kind of treatment. And her rather stupid comment to one of the neighbours who had inevitably come to enjoy the scene about not losing face to foreigners just topped it off: The stupid bitch didn’t realise she’d already lost face. What kind of idiot thinks treating customers so rudely is a good way of doing business?
So I guess I’m going to have to go back to the first guy I argued with. At least we left on good terms, and the couple of times I’ve been back he’s caused me no trouble.
Still, the few other foreigners around here don’t help. Two of them have admitted to me that they never return their empties and quite happily let themselves get cheated, bullied and pushed around. Last night one of them told me it was an inevitable result of living in an ordinary Chinese area with precious few foreigners. I pointed out that I’d never had to put up with this kind of bullshit in any other part of
And, yes, Wudaokou is an area with a lot of foreigners, but I live on the opposite side of Chengfu Lukou, closer to Zhixin Beili, which is radically different.
And in more stupidity: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10393682: “The body blow the main trunk line took with the axing of Auckland-Wellington passenger services last week could soon be followed up with a knock-out punch of freight services, industry sources have said.”
Brilliant, take the most efficient form of transport which runs almost the length of the