Saturday, October 13, 2007

Informative Advertising

Shopping in China is quite an experience for many different reasons. Firstly there is the fact that the shop keepers despite not speaking any English are quite willing to make a very valiant and wordy attempt to convince you to buy anything you show an interest in. They aren't picky in deciding what constitutes "showing an interest", in my experience walking past something is normally enough.

If you do decide to actually buy anything there is then the question of price. If you are lucky enough to be buying something that even has a price tag, the amount printed on it normally bears no relation to how much you will have to pay for it. 20%, 50%, 70% discounts from that price aren't just possible, they are normal. Of course if there isn't a price tag, you may face the natural disadvantage of being western in which you have no chance of getting a normal price.

The third interesting point about shopping in China which I didn't realise until I got back to Japan is the problem of accurate advertising. I bought a bunch of cookies and snacks for my friends here as souvenirs (its a Japanese cultural thing), and shared them round while we were having dinner at the university. I had no idea of any of the brands or types of sweets so I just got a random selection of things that looked interesting from the super market.

One such was the box in the photo. Purple, heart shaped, with Chinese writing and fill of big pieces of almonds. Opened the box and found it was fill of the small brown dog biscuit looking things that I'm holding in the picture. Not only are they not purple, heart shaped, un-written on, and completely lacking in almonds, but they tasted like sand. I couldn't believe it, so I showed it to one of my Chinese friends here and she just shrugged as if it was normal.

No comments:

This page has been responsible for distracting Free Counters people since 18/11/2007.