The money is red and blue and green. Spending money here feels like one massive game of Monopoly. Do I want to buy that house on Park Place?! Why the heck not…it’s just fake money after all. I’m going to go for it.
It feels so fun when you open up your wallet. Going to the ATM feels like I passed GO on the Monopoly board and need to go and collect my $200 but in a new, more fun type of currency.
The only problem is that the monopoly money is not fake. It may be fun, but it also appears at the ATM money disposal because it is linked to my bank account. (That was a sad moment of realization.) And while ATM day is fun – filling my wallet with lots of pretty red bills – it seems like recently, more often than not, I open up my wallet to pay for something and there isn’t too much red in sight. WHERE IS THIS MONEY GOING?!
It is an odd feeling here in China when it comes to expenses. My breakfast this morning, for example, cost me around 40 cents in USD. My dinner last night – a big bowl of noodles with a side order of soup and a bottle of Pepsi – was only 13 kuai, or just around two bucks. It seems like I am hardly spending anything. Then again, it’s amazing how a day full of “Well that is DIRT CHEAP. Sure, I’ll buy it” moments can suddenly add up to “WOWZERS, did I really spend that much money today?” So naturally, the monopoly money keeps vanishing.
Here’s to hoping that some routines are established over the next couple of weeks to cut down on silly purchases and that my cravings for overpriced Starbucks coffee diminishes so that the red monopoly money can stay in my little fist a tiny bit longer.