Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Travelling in Western China and Chengdu

This post is just about one minor incident while in Chengdu. For more on travelling in China, see my website.

There are too many good things to say about my recent experience travelling in Western China. Chengdu itself is a hot pot - full of mist, spice, and you never know what you gon' get. If you do go to Chengdu and crave some good American food, hit up Pete's Tex Mex (address can be found on Google,  but it's 彼得西餐饭馆,科华路)and give it the brownie test. The have on the menu two brownies, one's called brownie sundae and one's called Texas Brownie. The former is 15 kuai, the latter is 18. We ordered two brownie sundaes, and they charged us for two Texas Brownies. When we pointed it out, the waitress said "But I brought you a Texas Brownie, you should pay for it" (the customer is rarely right in China). But we stood our ground and after a minute or two of feigned embarassment, the waitress finally fixed the price.

This "brownie incident," it turns out, has also happened to another friend who visited Pete's in the past. And why not? Waitresses don't get tips in China, so to charge a foreigner and extra few bucks and pocket the money, at the end of the day, can go a long way for her. Especially if the foreigner cannot read the bill in Chinese.

Props to Pete's food. Try the brownie test. And laowais, beware of this happening to you anywhere. Always read your 买单s.

1 comment:

  1. Chengdu is a beautiful place. If you look at Sichuan geographically, it is akin to a gigantic crater. It's sort of like China's "Land Before Time" in my opinion. When I was in Chengdu, I actually felt like I was finally safe from being cheated. And that says a lot, since I don't exactly look like a laowai. I can't explain why, but folk were real nice.

    Brownie incidents happen all the time. Never when I was around with my friends since the fuwuyuans assumed I could read (HA!)
    But my friend once sat in a taxi cab and the driver "forgot" turn on the ticker for wot was supposed to be a 40 kuai trip. He tried to charge 90. Which even in my opinion is not ambitious enough. Seriously, why not 100?