Sunday, March 2, 2008
Arts and Crafts and Market Value
i was crossing the road on this pedestrian bridge which has been taken over as a sort of impromptu market of people peddling knickknacks and puppies etc, and i saw this fellow there who was selling these amazing insects and creatures fashioned out of grass.
After he let me take a picture, i cautiously enquired as to the price of one of the insects. "3 yuan" (42 cents) he replied, to my surprise. So i got the dragon for 8 yuan, and told him to keep the change, and then he tossed me the hopper pictured above.
If i could speak mandarin, i'd say, "Dude, these things are amazing. Where's your business sense? Spend the 14 cent bus fare to take your talents somewhere touristy and yank up your prices a decimal place or 2. You won't make jack sitting on this bridge trying to sell to these local yokels."
These days i've been feeling a bit weird about how cheap lots of things are around here. Have you seen The Story of Stuff yet? it's a super easy-to-digest short online vid about where stuff comes from and where it goes, and why stuff is so bloody cheap.
Although around here, cheap is like the undervalued radioshack $5 radio, plus undervalued time and labour. It all kinda disturbs me.
And then slap that next to Chinese bars or restaurants that charge expensive western prices and the whole situation seems rather fucked.