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Saturday, December 09, 2006

I can't do math and speak Chinese at the same time, dammit!

Walking and shopping today to pick up some gifts and the remaining bits and pieces for my external hard drive (like, you know, the hard drive), I ran into a bunch of street vendors selling some maps and language posters. Just some simple, everyday pictures with the Chinese name and character written underneath. They seemed like good things to throw up on my wall, and I know of others that have done the same to help build vocabulary and all that, so I waded through a large pile of 'em to grab three that I wanted. I asked the guy selling 'em, how much for one? He said five yuan. OK, how about ten yuan for three? Oh no, no, fifteen. How about ten? And so on, for a bit, until I wanted to sweeten the deal with a large map of China (in Chinese, of course), which was twenty yuan. So in the confusion of bargaining for a good price on the small posters, trying to bargain for the map, speaking the right thing and making sure I was doing all the language stuff correctly, I walked away happily with three posters and the map for thirty-five yuan. Score! I'm the best bargainer in the world!

... hey wait a minute!

I was half a block away before I realized I hadn't saved any money. Damn you, savvy Chinese street vendors! I can't do simple addition and speak Chinese at the same time! Oh well. Got a few interesting pictures on the walk, tried a new noodle restaurant (still can't top Mohammed's right around the corner from campus), and now I have a nice hefty 250GB external hard drive.

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