Friday, September 15, 2006

Half the Work, All the Cost

Last weekend, my wife and I looked into getting Chinese foot massages. We had spent the better part of the day walking around the Bund and Yu Gardens and our feet were killing us. We had about half hour to spare before meeting up with some friends for a nightcap. After a quick taxi ride to the "Good Food and Relaxation Street" (I'll try to post a photo sometime this weekend), we set out looking for a place to get a 30 minute massage. Unfortunately, it seems that everyone offered only 70 minute massages. We tried to bargin them into giving us two 30 minute massages for the price of one 70 minute one. Surely with 6 or 7 places on the same block, market forces would prevail and somebody would give us a deal! However, no one would budge. After squandering what precious little time we had hangling over the price instead of getting our rub on, we walked away massageless and met up with our friends instead. Upon hearing this story, one of my friends asked, "Why didn't you just each pay for the 70 mintue massage and leave after 30 minutes? How much would that have cost in total?" I thought about it for a minute, did some RMB to dollar conversions, and sheepishly replied, "$6.25 -- cheaper than laundering a shirt at the hotel."

Very funny.
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