Shanghainese is a must for anyone who wants to shop
and not get completely ripped off
. You can look as Chinese
as you'd like and that might help a little, but when the words that come rolling out of your mouth are anything but fluent Shanghainese in Shanghai
, you can be sure that you aren't getting the best deal
you can. I once saw a woman sell
my uncle a map for 2 yuan
, then turn around and sell
the same map to some foreign toursts
for 8 yuan
. that's a 400% markup!
Usually when I get dragged out shopping in Shanghai I find it easier to pretend I'm mute
and just letting my cousins do all my haggling for me - rather than opening my mouth to speak my shamefully broken Shanghainese. Sometimes the merchants can sense foreigner
s like a sixth sense and zero in for the kill without you even opening your mouth. After all, Shanghainese are characterized as the most sly
people in all China. I will node about the time that being Shanghainese almost got me beaten up in another node... Now I've gotten smart - I say I'm from Wuxi instead when outside of Shanghai.