Prices

By Bryan • china, nanjing • 21 Oct 2004

I haven’t quite figured out the pricing system in China. Western food and products are, not surprisingly, more expensive. Items such as jam, peanut butter, coffee and western brands usually sell for a little less than their western price. For instance, I paid about 23 kuai for a small (250ml) jar of Maxwell house coffee. That is about $4CDN.

However, what really confuses me is the prices for things that previously I would have assumed to be cheap. A jar of peanuts…maybe 750ml (Chinese peanuts) goes for about 50 kuai ($8CDN). I’ll compare that to a bottle of wine I bought for 43 kuai. Or a taxi I took for about 5 km (16 Kuai). Another thing…I bought a cheap crappy comb for 13 kuai, yet I bought three loafs of bread for 10 kuai.

When I think in dollars, everything is ridicuously cheap. But I don’t get paid in dollars, my salary is in RMB (kuai, yuan…all the same thing). So shelling out 50 kuai for a jar of peanuts is like paying 50 dollars for a jar of peanuts.

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