Day 75 in Beijing: Shopping Logic.

The local Wu-Mart has about 50 to 75 people working the floor, selling stuff, folding stuff, talking to each other, talking to customers, allowing you to test things, and, in general, doing everything humanly possible to keep themselves, and you, the customer busy.  It truly is a consumer’s dream.

The lines stretch well into the distance.

The lines stretch well into the distance.

The check out line, on the other hand, is always understaffed.  When I arrived, the two cashiers had about 6 people waiting at each check out stand.  By the time I checked out, it was up to about 20 people in each line.  No one had called for another check out clerk and numerous employees had walked up, looked at the line, and then smiled and walked away.  There were four more check out stands waiting to be used.

I’m guessing that people are trained to do specific jobs and that they stick with them.  They are probably not allowed, or taught, how to do the check out and they only have a limited amount of people working the check out areas.

This leads to a lot of long lines and it can be fairly frustrating to most the people in line as they seem to be asking the employees to bring more people to work the cashier area but the employees don’t seem to have any idea what to do about the problem.

This is not a one off event or I wouldn’t bother posting about it.  It seems to be fairly common and yet there is little, if anything, being done about it.

It does, on a positive light, make one really decide if what they are buying is worth the time, money and effort.

And, maybe, just maybe, people won’t buy as much and be less consumer oriented.

Day 73 in Beijing: Beer or Soapy Water? You Decide!

You can buy a 500 ML can of beer from the 7-11 for about 75 U.S. cents.  Compare this to a U.S. 7-11 where it would be about $2.50.

You can buy a 300 ML can of beer from the local Wu-Mart for about 20 cents American. Compare this to a 300 ML can of beer from a local grocery store in America where it would be about a buck and you would have to buy them in a 6 pack.

Beer is incredibly cheap and readily available.

Notice I didn’t say inexpensive because it is not.  It is cheap.

Inexpensive means you get a great deal on something that is worth a lot more than you paid for it.

Cheap means that it isn’t really worth a lot of money.

And that is why beer here is cheap.

I decided to do a little taste test of these beers.

Snow beer.  Up close and personal.

Snow beer. Up close and personal.

Yanjing beer.  Up close and personal.

Yanjing beer. Up close and personal.

With a name like SNOW, I was hoping it would be clean,

clear and taste refreshing.

It was clean and clear, however, it tasted more like soapy water.

Mind you, that is the finest Beijing soapy water available.

Yanging was much better.

It was clean, clear and tasted like beer flavored water.

Then again, the bar was set pretty low.  Pun intended.

No carrying case like Yanjing.  Losing.

No carrying case like Yanjing. Losing.

Cool carrying case.  Winning.

Cool carrying case. Winning.

It tasted more like Coors or Bud.

Neither of which do I drink in America since I like more full bodied beers and try to stay with the local breweries.

These beers definitely don’t compare to my favorite local Beijing brewery, Jing A Brewing Company.

The Jing A Keg Egg.  Beijing beer and fun!

The Jing A Keg Egg. Excellent Beijing beer!


The Jing A beers are tasty, full flavored and hand made at the brew pub.

The owners and brewmasters, Alex and Kris, are wonderful dudes.  Their beer is about 35 RMB, or 5 bucks American, and worth every penny.

They also are served in one of my favorite restaurants, The Big Smoke, which I’ve posted about in Day 57 in Beijing: Jill Arrived Today.


By the way, they have a Jing A Keg Egg that will hit the streets of Beijing on August 17th.

I will definitely follow it around and do a blog post about it!