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Street business

Lots of bloggable things happened this week, but no time to blog so far… Some things I wanted to write about, but did not find the time for yet:
– Ho-Pin Tung’s Formula 3 championship (in a car with on it)
– Gary Wang (Tudou‘s CEO) who is sudddenly becoming a famous Chinese writer
– A cool big band jazz concert with Rolf Becker in the Grand Hyatt last night
– Several anecdotes about a large group of Dutch tourists (members of Dutch broadcasting station the Tros) who are on a so-called ‘members tour’ in China with Dutch singer Jantje Smit. This whole thrip will be broadcasted in December.

At lunch today (a 5-minute break for a hamburger at McDonalds – shame on me) I was sitting in front of the window of the fast-food outlet in Xujiahui, and noticed several men in front of a bakery store that were approached by people with pieces of paper and who then exchanged the paper for money. I found it a bit strange, so decided to check it out after finishing the greasy meal.

Turns out that the bakery is a mooncake outlet, and people can go there to exchange a coupon for mooncakes. Before the moon festival (in 2 weeks) companies often give these coupons to employees as a token of appreciation. The thing is, many people either do not like mooncakes (like me) or prefer to get some money instead. And because Chinese are all business people, a trade automatically developed. In front of these stores you can now exchange the coupons for hard Chinese renminbi’s, and the traders then re-sell the coupons to clients entering the store. This entrepreneurial spirit is why I love to live and work in the The Middle Kingdom.

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