Things I like about China: It’s cheap.

I get mocked by my coworkers for brining in the same cup of soup day in day out, week after week to work.

“Can I call you soup man?” the colleague with breath that could kill a small animal asked me.

No, and fuck you for even asking.

The lunch I bring in to work tastes good, is healthy, and costs me all of five dollars a week to make. That wasn’t a typo, I eat on five dollars a week. And if you want to split hairs, I probably eat more than on the same dime. I go to a vegetable seller every Friday and I buy about 20 RMB worth of vegetables, which is enough ingredients to make some soup and something else for the week. I have to buy my legumes in bulk from Shanghai, so the cost of them is hard to calculate, but the soup I make most often is lentil soup and it sets me back about 35RMB for a kilo of lentils, which will last me about 4-5 weeks. So the total cost of 5 or 6 meals in China is 27 RMB.

A guy can save a buck here, if they know what to do.

The savings don’t have to stop there. Should I not want soup I can go to the basement and get some Sheng Jian Bao, which are some kinda fried (Chinese food is weird) pork buns. Eight of those will fill you up with no problems, and set you back 14RMB, a little under 3 dollars. It isn’t the healthiest option, but every now and again it works. There are other things on the menu that are equally cheap, such as fried rice, but much of it is pretty disgusting.

Food aside, I can get across the city in a taxi on less than ten dollars. The buss to work costs me .30cents. I live downtown and pay about 300 dollars a month for rent.

But here is the one that really sealed it for me. The bike seat on my bike tore at the crotch of two pairs of pants that I owned, so I needed to get them repaired. As well, the legs of one of these pants needed to be brough up by two inches or so. A friend of mine takes me to his tailer (oddly enough on the same street where my fruit and veg seller is) and in a few hours everything is ready to go. Total cost, 10RMB. That’s a dollar and sixty cents.

Man, this country is cheap.

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