My friend Tia has spoken to me several times about the concept of foreigner tax. It's sucks, but it's something that you have to learn to live with. Thankfully, everything I buy here is terribly inexpensive.
So, what's' foreigner tax? It's the extra money you end up spending because you don't speak the language and sometimes buy the wrong thing. I've paid my fair share this year. Also, when you buy things on Tao Bao (Chinese version of Amazon) you end up buying something super cheap (poor quality) or not what you really intended. Recently I bought a candle on Tao Bao and it ended up being the size of my finger. The hand that was holding the object in the picture had to be an infant. It's sort of scammy, but it happens.
I attempted to buy a bicycle tire pump this past week. I bought the expensive one at 42 RMB (about $6 USD). It broke the first time I used it. Ugh. What to do? Jump in a taxi and head to the store to buy a quality pump. Live and learn. I also needed a pair of black tennis shoes. I'm too chicken to buy those online.
This pump? Wrong one. Seriously. It doesn't fit the air nozzle on my bike. F me. Well, I can return this one, but I have to go back to the store. How much of a pain will it be when I have to use my phone to translate in the store while trying to return this thing? It might be enough that I just give this pump to a friend and call it more foreigner tax. on a positive note the shoes I night there were just fine. Price for the shoes and pump was 180 RMB (about $24 USD) in total. Not bad.