The above lunch actually cost 92 cents. I just rounded up to $1 because it sounded better. The funny thing is the 630ml bottle of Asahi beer cost less than the instant noodle. No doubt about it, if you want to drink, China is your place. If you belong to Alcoholics Anonymous, China is your worst nightmare!
While $1 for a lunch sounds awfully cheap, you have to keep in mind that everything is relative. The average Chinese factory worker makes about $150US per month. Spending $30 a month for lunch would be equal to 20% of their income. Can you image spending 20% of your income on lunch?
Relative or not, I’m having a great time trying out all the local food. If it’s local, it’s really cheap. If it’s an imported brand, like Häagen-Dazs, it’s really expensive.
One dollar lunches are great and all but it doesn’t quite project the Dot Com Lifestyle. Up next, Sarah and I will be dining at M on the Bund, the restaurant of choice for Shanghai’s rich and famous. Something tells me that dining in China is about to get a whole lot more expensive.