Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Shanghai'ed in Shanghai

It was 9:30 AM, Saturday, March 18th, 2006. I woke from a restless sleep to rapid knocks on my hotel door. Patrick opens the door. In burst a very excited Corey, dressed in last night's clothing, teeming with a story he must get off his chest.

Fig A. Corey is the white guy.

"What the fuck man?" I moaned.

"Dude!" Said Corey in an ever excited voice, "You'll never guess what happened to me and Mehmet last night!"

"What you buy some cheap hookers and they turned out to be men?"

"No no! Mehmet and I walked down Nanjin Lu and got jacked by some Chinese English students!"

And so the story goes:

Corey and Mehmet were walking innocently down Nanjin Lu in downtown Shanghai, minding there own business and taking in the sights. Up came two Chinese women that, very forwardly, spoke to them.

"We are English students, can we talk with you as to practice our English?"

As Corey and Mehmet were nice people, and wholly unaccustomed to womenfolk approaching them in such forward fashion, they obliged. As they walked, Corey was blissful just to be able to help a poor Chinese English student and also practice his Chinese. They walked and talked for what must have been miles (or in my early morning hearing, several minutes of Corey talking) until one of them suggested that they go to a cafe to rest their feet. Delighted, the dynamic duo followed the two female Chinese students to drink some coffee.

Once situated on a 7th floor cafe, Corey, Mehment, and the two female English students engaged in rapid exchanges of deep conversation both in Chinese and English. "How are you?" "Nihao." "Xiexie." "The weather is nice." "Your English is good." "Ni de Zhongwen henhao." And other such phrases were fired back and forth in rapid succession that is surely to impress even the most experienced UN interpretor.

Fig B. Corey not being shy.

Several minutes later, one of the girls disappears for a minute. Back she comes with a waiter bearing a tray of four whiskeys. Finally, Corey realized that something is amiss. "Hey, who ordered this? How much is it?" The girls try to convince him that it is all legit but Corey will have nothing of it. At this point, Mehmet (the international man of pleasure) just kicked back and started drinking from all four whiskeys. "How much does this cost? Where is the bill?" After some demanding in both English and Chinese, the bill came to 3300 RMB. For those who are not up on the latest currency exchange, 3300 RMB is roughly $400US. $400 US for 4 coffee, 4 whiskeys, and no blowjobs is extremely expensive anywhere in the world.

"I'm not paying this shit!" Exclaimed Corey as he watched Mehmet drain the last of the whiskey and flashing him a big grin.

To make a long story short, they got away with paying only 400 RMB, or roughly $50US. What they did is fall for a simple trick that happens all the time in Shanghai. One or more English speaking Chinese women will come up and ask if they can practice their Chinese. They seem innocent and harmless, and appear eager to learn and converse quite nicely. Eventually, they ask to go to a cafe/bar/place to rest, and this is where they get you. These business charge exorbitant prices and often employ local gangs to enforce payment. Corey and Mehmet got out cheap because they realized what's up early.

"Shit, did anyone else fall for this?" Said Corey.

"Yep, just ask Tim and Devan. I believe they lost more money than you two did, and Devan didn't even drink!"
Fig C. Corey and Ahren crossing steams.

"Did you tell Rebecca what happened to you?" Asked I.

"Yeah, she was glad I was okay."

"Umm... You know, after she is relieved that you are okay, you know she's going to ask - Why the fuck did you go with them in the first place! - right?"

"Ahh... I have some serious ass kissing to prepare for..." Lamented Corey.


Blogger erin said...

So, I'm not entirely sure how the pictures fit the commentary, but it's all pretty funny nonetheless. And I don't think I ever heard about Tim & Devan getting jacked...I'll have to ask them about that one.

2:40 PM  

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