Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

Cost to Repair

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, July 2, 2010

If you are faced with a conglomeration of pieces of plastic and metal that, just a few days ago, represented a working piece of essential equipment and which is, sadly, no longer in a condition that one might refer to as operational, then this is what you do:

First, write down on a piece of paper the cost to repair or replace said piece of equipment. Then, in a separate column, write down the IQ of the Chinese person who last used it.

One of these numbers will invariably be rather high. The other will be exceptionally low.

This exercise will not help you restore to nominal function the item in question, nor will it make you feel any better. It will, however, remind you of the fact that some folks were hiding behind the door when God was handing out brains, and will go some way towards recalling to memory the fact that MyLaowai is now, was always, and will likely continue to be correct in every particular when it comes to cultural understanding.

And remember – a penny saved is a Chinese person fired.

Have a happy day.

6 Responses to “Cost to Repair”

  1. LaoLao said

    If in Shanghai, the ability to find replacement parts, their cost, and lifetime in months, can be summarized by the following equation:

  2. Scoobydo said

    The problem with Chinese employees (apart from the fact that they spend too man working hours chatting on QQ or trying to work out how to rip you off or preferably your clients) is that every single one of them is convinced that they are much smarter than everyone else.

    This belief is firmly held even when they have a very limited understanding of the big picture.

    Our resident maths head is a good example of such a China man.

    There is a reason why China has 1.3 Billion people but a GDP per head on par with Egypt.

    As one of my mates used to say to his Chinese girlfriend when she got too proud of China’s meagre achievements,

    “5,000 years of civilisation? You haven’t got much done”.

    Still, Chairman Mao was right to promote a population explosion in China. If he hadn’t made the Chinese breed like rabbits with the resulting massive present day population, who would pay the slightest bit of attention to China?

    1.3 Billion Chinese, by sheer weight of numbers, are as significant as a European country with 1/20 the population.

    Individually, they aren’t worth much, which is of course why they are paid peanuts.

    Its all they are worth.

  3. Slap2tickle said

    @ Scoobydo, I’m very sorry but I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree with you there, peanuts are worth much more and have many more health benefits than the Chinese do. With regards to this thread I think that Mylaowai has forgotten the varying levels of TAX, first of which is the Dumb ass TAX in which they fill you full of shit about the repair/product in question and if you call their bluff or they realise that you know more than them then they try the ……….. Out of town TAX, this is applied to anybody out of town but NOT including laowai (we’re in a different TAX band altogether), this TAX is applied to anybody who either looks, sounds or just might be perceived to be out of town. The final TAX is called the laowai TAX and is used for anybody with any differing skin colour or shaped eyes which unfortunately includes Muslim people from the far west “New Frontier” land, this Tax requires a high percentage added varying from 50% to 5000% according to the mood and financial situation of the seller/repairer at the time of transaction, this involves an equation similar to our resident maths friend and involves 20 minutes of tapping away on the calculator with a mix of numbers and mathematical symbols that not even Einstein himself could figure out. % of TAX is as vague and varying as the laws from province to province.

    • MyLaowai said


      There is a new tax here in China. It’s a tax on personal mail received by foreigners. Essentially, it empowers Customs to open all your letters, assess their value, and levy a tax.

      I’m not joking.

      So… Credit card statements? Bank account information? Company documents? Letters from mum? It’s all now going to be opened and taxed according to what the inspector thinks it’s worth to you. Oh yes, and file the contents for future reference.

      Really, I couldn’t make this stuff up. I strongly advise anyone who receives any documents at all in China to make alternative arrangements, urgently.

      • Slap2tickle said

        Serious? Is there any information about this, or is it censored? I hope my mum washes my socks before she sends them over, though it might be worth leaving a pair of underwear with skid marks included to teach them a lesson or two.

      • MyLaowai said

        I’m deadly serious. The implications are enormous and also deadly serious. Many of us doing business here have known for some time that the Party is slowly kicking foreigners out, step by step, now that they think they don’t need us any longer. This is a big step, even for them.

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