Costly Culture


Originally uploaded by ryanocerosk.

Our discussion topic for our conversation class this week was: shopping. Chinese people love shopping. It’s a whole different beast over here.

I told my teacher I don’t often go shopping. Minus groceries at home, going shopping is reserved for the day after Christmas and maybe an outlet trip once a year. I actually shop or rather browse more online than I do actually in person. But the real shocker for my teacher was that I said I didn’t enjoy shopping (perhaps minus Costco)

The vast majority of shopping occurs in supermarkets here in China. But supermarkets are the likes of Carrefour and Wal-Mart (selling food, bikes, TVs, and everything under the sun), and less along the lines of a grocery store with just food.

But shopping here is all part of a culture that thrives on price. I almost repeatedly get asked by my roommate. How much did your computer cost? When did you buy it? How much was your watch? Shoes? Sweater? He then comments if something was too expensive or cheap.

Why is it like that? Because you can bargain in China. There isn’t transparency in price so the only way to know the true price of things is to compare notes.

Picture of the Day: Yes, that’s my roomie! Zhou Hentong. This photo is from our trip last weekend to his hometown of Ningbo.