One Last Kick in the Teeth from Asia

Trip Start Nov 20, 2010
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Trip End Dec 01, 2011


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Where I stayed
Sunrise Hostel

Flag of China  , Beijing,
Saturday, May 14, 2011

We made it to Beijing the next day though with no real trouble and set out to find our way to our hostel. Our plan was to either walk or catch a cab to the nearest subway station and ride that to a station by our hostel. Cabbies of course approached us straight away and started offering rides for a fixed rate, which we knew was way over what we would pay if they used their meters. When we asked if they would use their meter they just said no meter and so we just walked away. We ended up getting stopped by a cabby right after we crossed the road though who agreed to use his meter, imagine that.
When we tried to show him the subway station we wanted to go to he seemed a bit confused and kept saying traffic. Finally we figured out he meant the traffic was gonna be thick and the ride would be slow. We of course said ok since they charge by km with the meter. There ended up being more confusion on his part though and we weren`t sure if he understood where we wanted to go and we had a card for our hostel with the adress in chinese so we figured since we had a meter tax we would just get him to take us the whole way. After him trying to agree on a fixed rate since the hostel was farther away and us then saying no and telling him to just take us to the subway he changed his mind and agreed to take us to the hostel with the meter, phew! So after crawling our way through traffic and finally getting it sorted out he got us to our hostel. The fare was less than half of what he had asked as a fixed rate so we were happy we had insisted on the meter but gave him a tip to show we appreciated him not being pushy or mean about it.
 After we settled into our room, and showered after the stinky bus ride, we made our way to Tiananmen Square which is only about a block from our hostel. The square is massive with a full view of the Forbidden City and a few cool monuments but essentially that`s all it is is a big square (with loads of people wandering around).
We decided to make our way back towards the hostel and then onto a night market close by...this is where our night went awry (and where the name of this entry comes from).
 So of course we`ve heard about scams where chinese people stop tourists on the street and convince them into a tea ceremony where they grossly overcharge....well we didn`t even get a ceremony! Two chinese girls stopped us on the street to chat and ask where we were from. Soon one of the girls asked if we wanted to go grab a beer or coffee and although we hesitated we didn`t want to be rude and decline, we know, idiots!
 They took us directly across the street and up some stairs with the words tea and beer, etc on them. As soon as we saw the word tea our stomaches did a flop but e had not been given any indication that we were being taken to a tea ceremony. They led us into a room with a kareoke machine and a couple couches. As we know kareoke is a very popular thing in china we thought we were ok and James ordered a beer but I already had had my mug with me so I didn`t get anything. We chatted for awhile and then they convinced us to try some kareoke. We actually had a decent time hanging out with them. Soon though one girl left and a waitress brought in a very small tea pot and four tiny cups and left them on the table. This made us weary again but since one of the girls with us just filled the cups and passed them over without the so called ``ceremony`` we actuall thought we were ok.
After hanging out for a while we still hadn`t eaten supper and they seemed like they were ready to leave to and so just as we were about to get up and go out to pay for our beer the girl said they would go get the bill brought in.....damnit! James` 30 yuan beer turned into us paying 430 yuan for ``our share`` of the extremely overpriced tea and rice snacks that had been sitting on the table and the bug fee for the kareoko. We were absolutely floored when the girl showed us the bill and then suggested we can just split it and each pay half. While I was also trying to contain the shock and the feeling of stupidity I tried to insist that there was no way that the bill should be that much but they kept insisting; what we should have done was simply told them they were the ones that knew it would be so much, they ordered it all and then thrown what we owed for the one beer at them and left. Instead simply because we were in such shock and feeling so stupid we shoved the money at them and left speechless. We were no longer in the mood to eat at the street market or even really eat for that matter and went back to the hostel.
 The worst part wasn`t even the money they scammed from us, we were stupid for falling for it, but it`s the feeling we now have towards people that talk to us on the street, it`s almost pure hatred. We don`t like to feel that way but thats what it does to you when someone takes advantage of your polite nature like that.
 Well I guess now we know what to look for and instead of having to trust a gut feeling we now have first hand experience; it`s a learning process!


Oh, and Yay 100 entries!!!!!! Hahaha
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