Four thousand eight hundred yuan. That’s how much I am paid each month to teach at JGSU. Seems like a lot, doesn’t it? It is for China. That’s about six hundred US dollars. Suddenly it doesn’t sound like all that much. But let’s look closer…
For lunch today I bought a big bowl of noodles with beef and vegetables. Two yuan. I got my beard trimmed and a back massage (just my back!) for one yuan. I tried to pay more, but because I am an “honored” customer, they refused to take it. I usually get my shoes shined for one kuai (a kuai is the same as a yuan… sort of like saying “buck” when you mean dollar). If my shoes are really dirty, I pay two.
Last week I bought 16 DVD’s for 85 yuan. Pirate? Gee, I dunno. What do you think? A bottle of decent Chinese beer is about five kuai, a Pepsi is about the same. My train ticket on the K85 from Guangzhou to Jian was 235 yuan. That’s for a hard sleeper; a soft sleeper is slightly more.
On a grander scale, the annual rent on my coffee bar is eight thousand yuan. I am told that a “QQ”, a Chinese made economy car, starts at about thirty five thousand. And so on.
Here is a link to a currency converter if you are like me (math-challenged):