2005/09/21

Return to Red China

Here's the numbers for the Chicago-Beijing trip:

Hours spent in flight: 16
Hours spent waiting at airports: 8
Number of times security people were assholes: 2/2
Cost of 740 ml bottle of water at O'Hare: $2.63
Cost of 596 ml bottle of water in Beijing store: $0.11
Cost of mediocre medium-sized burrito at LAX: $8.11
Cost of breakfast at the Beijing hotel that the American businessman I was sitting next to is staying at: 150 yuan (~$20)
Cost of a meal at a typical Chinese restaurant in Beijing: 10 yuan (~$1.50)
Number of books I took with me: 27

The contrast in water is particulary striking. It would have been one thing if O'Hare had its own counterpart to Midway's Midway Springs bottled water (the marketing brilliance of selling water ostensibly collected from the clean, all-natural surroundings of an airport is incredible). Then I would have been happy to pay the airport price. But instead I got this Vasa spring water with soothing bourgeois blues and teals on the label. The Beijing water on the other hand, already 20 times cheaper, also has Chinese hearthrob Wang Lihong on the label. Now that's value!

2 comments:

Chris said...

all interesting, but one omission was total weight of books in luggage as a percentage of total weight of luggage.

Robbin said...

Very interesting.