I’ve never been one for business & economics but I must say it’s a little odd to look at the calculators and see that 1000 South Korean Won is presently worth the same as 1 Australian dollar. for once I don’t have to do mathematics in my head which leaves it free to imagine. I imagine what it would be like to be some sort of shit-kicking internal mail-boy for a rocketship shaped BHP building in the middle of Melbourne, and to still be earning more than I am now.
Or like yesterday when I was out looking for a new pair of slip-on dress shoes for work. I came across a spanish made pair. They were a touch too big but if the price was right I could’ve padded them in or found some other solution. They were W148 000.
“Can I get a discount?”
“I er um. No.”
“What about if I pay cash?”
“I’m sorry”
“Ah c’mon, just a little discount.”
“We can’t”
Obstinate Fucker I thought while saying thankyou and left without the shoes. Usually they’ll give some sort of discount even if it was only 8 out of the 148. And after getting home that night and seeing the 1:1, I’m thinking that pair of shoes would’ve been a whole lot more in Melbourne.

* * *

A few last things about the Chinese in Shanghai. I thought it was odd in that they’re noticably faster walkers than people here but they’d walk-walk fast through the subway then get to the escalator, get on it and then stand still. Maybe it’s still a technology that they’re getting used to and it’s considered uncouth or barbaric to continue walking when the escalator could be doing all the work for you.

TV: on the first night I watched a bit of TV. As you can imagine, TV in China suffers from a bit of fascism, however they did show 80s family-sitcom ‘Growing Pains’. It was dubbed. Expect a rash of Kirk Cameron hairstylings in the Middle Kingdom soon.

Also I got vox-popped by ICS, a newly opened foreign-language TV channel in Shangers. I watched a little bit of the TV channel and it seemed quite good. They do their own news reports and lifestyle shows. I don’t watch TV in Seoul but I’m sure there’s nothing that diverse on the telly here. I’m guessing there’s still not much more than Steven Segal movies.