Assignment Kunming

Price of Tea, 12 of 20
This shop front is just down from the demolished building you see in Proletariat. It has been newly built and pressed into service as a tea shop staffed by these two very aggressive entrepreneurs seeking to recoup the money they pay in higher rents.

I knew I was going to be buying some tea and was waiting for the right opportunity. Most of the shop keepers I passed seemed not to know what to do with me, and I kept walking if I found the environment inhospitible.

As I passed this shop, both of the shop keepers brightened up and approached me, motioning to come in and smell the tea. They spoke no English, but hey, do you really need to in this kind of situation? Open a can of tea, shove it in someone's nose and put the price on the calculator. That's what they did, and for their efforts they got a big sale. It would have been even bigger but for my firmness: they kept putting extra cans of tea in the bag and I kept taking them out. When I finally pulled out the money and put it on the counter, the struggle was over.

I have a feeling I paid the white man's price, which is often the case in Asia. But I never let it get me down. I usually consider if what I am buying is a value or not, and in this case it was.

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