Thursday, November 02, 2006
A Picture May Be Worth A Thousand Words, But A Counterfeit Bill Ain't Worth A Dime
Since I've been in China, I've heard many people talking about counterfeit money. People kept saying watch what people give you - I heard it especially often from cab drivers. But little did I imagine I would actually come in contact with it firsthand. The story goes something like this:

I went this morning to the market to pick up some fruits and veggies and decided to go pick up a couple of things at the supermarket afterwards. I stepped in the store, grabbed the things I needed, went to pay, handed the cashier the money, and moments later had one of my 20 yuan bills back in my hand. The cashier wouldn't take it. I looked at it. It looked crisp and fresh - very unlike Chinese money which is usually crumpled and time-worn. I argued with the woman for a couple of minutes and eventually gave up. The bottom line: she wasn't going to accept it. I hadn't brought my whole wallet, just a couple of bills, so this morning's shopping run was going to have to be a bust. I was mad, but I understood her position.

I stopped in the bank on the way home, where it was confirmed to me that it was a fake bill. And it was at that moment that I realized that the bill had been given to me as change from the very store that wouldn't accept it that morning. I had a right mind to go back and rip her a new one, but decided against it, figuring my Chinese wasn't up to fighting this morning and it would just put a damper on my whole day's qi. In the monetary sense (at least for me) 20 kuai is no big deal - it's only about 2+ dollars in US currency. But here, it could buy two dinners or almost a week's worth of groceries. Unbelievable, right? I was angered, but resolved to be more careful from then on (and not just check 50 and 100 kuai bills for counterfeit, but also my 20's and 10's). Oh, how jaded I am becoming in my worldliness.

Note: I thought I should also inform you that I can now, once again, access my blog page. I'm not sure if it is the result of my previous post or if Big Brother just decided to cut me a break, but either way I appreciate it. Thanks for bringing me back, boys!
posted by Rachel @ 9:14 AM  
THE WILD WILD EAST: Everything you never knew you didn't know about life on the other side.
In China, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups. The Chinese, who call this land "home," and the expats who migrate here. My name is Rachel. I am an expat. These are my stories.
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