In China, you throw two more things into the matrix to take into consideration.
1. Everything is negotiable.
2. What is the exchange rate from Dollars to RMB (China's currency); so that you know how much you're really paying and if its worth it or not.
Bethee is Shopping. Shopping is Bethee.
Bethee is dazed and confused in China. I haven't mastered the negotiation aspect of it, but I have mastered the art of figuring out if what I'm seeing is worth buying (i.e. what does it cost in $$ in the blink of an eye.)
Example: Today I was shopping with a friend and we were looking at the shoes in mall next to where we live. I'm not going to say this was shoe nirvana (thats a different store), but its a huge department. We wandered around for over an hour and then we saw shoes that we had to try on. So we tried them on. LOVED the shoes. I was grateful for having my friend with me who is bilingual and started to negotiate for me. I saw the rhythm and art of the negotiation and made a mental note to hone my language skills in regard to numbers and negotiation words. I realized after doing quick math that the shoes would cost more here than what I would pay for them in the States. Said bye-bye to the shoes and walked away.
So overall, a very positive shopping experience. I learned alot. However, I didn't walk away with any shoes. I did learn China-value vs. China-cost, though, which will serve me well. I need to learn the negotiation aspect of it, but that will come once my language skills are better.
I'll write a post later about how different the shopping experience here is compared to the States.