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1 April, 2004

This is a remarkable day in an unexpected way. This morning as I was selecting the pictures for this web site I discovered that the memory I bought for my camera yesterday at a shop in one of the most vibrant markets in Shanghai that is marked and sold as 256MB is in fact only 64MB. I feel like I have been cheated.

Since I am not one to lightly accept the wrong product for my money, I decided to return to the shop for a correction of the situation. In this case I have enough clear supporting evidence that the product that I have came from the store and since it is clearly marked as 256MB then that is what I should expect to have received. Fortunately for me, this particular memory module was used in the store either to test as proof of its working or it was used to demonstrate the camera that created the pictures on it. In either case, the pictures are undeniable evidence that the module in fact was present in that store and the clerk in the picture is obviously wearing the uniform of the business. It should not require a forensic laboratory to conclude that I have not received the merchandise paid for.

These links show the raw pictures taken from inside the store before I bought the module that I downloaded from my camera.


I went back to the shop today, first selecting the same product from the display to see if another of the same item was misrepresented or if the one I got was unique and accidental. It too was marked as 256MB but showed as only 64MB of memory. I then explained my position to make clear my claim and seek to have the deal corrected. It took some serious persuasion to convince the staff that I had a legitimate claim and to show the clerk who sold me the item that I had enough proof of my position to require action. All said and considered after many phone calls to people higher up in the business, I was persuaded that because they didn't have the 300RMB on hand to make a refund, I would have to return tomorrow to reverse the transaction.

I intend at any rate to bring this matter to the attention of contacts that I have made at the administrative level in the Shanghai Municipal Government. It is definitely not good for the business of the community to have such a clear violation of consumer rights, especially in such an internationally recognized marketplace. Just around the corner form this section of shops that are operated by staff all wearing the same uniforms are some of the largest gold and jewelry retailers in China. It may be that the business principals are known to each other.

Once I had proceeded on this mater as far as possible I set my mind to work on another nagging problem that has plagued me since my arrival. The awful magnitude of it is slowly dawning on me.

I had been assured by many before my departure from Canada that English was widely taught and understood in China. To a degree this appears to be true, but upon deeper consideration and reflection, I have concluded otherwise. There is a language using english words and identified as English being taught at all grades and levels of education including, apparently in universities that is not the English the rest of the world uses. It causes a great deal of consternation among the general public when other English speaking people are encountered and there is such a fundamental inability to understand one another. I believe most Chinese people are so sure that they know english that they consider foreign speakers of English to be poorly educated and incapable of conversing properly.

I'm not sure how this issue of language in China can be resolved. Surely there are those in government and educational institutions who recognize the situation. There are many who have gone out beyond the borders of the country and been immersed in International English. What do they think when they see the difference? Even though I have been here but one week, I have already heard individual comment on the issue trying to explain to me that they see the two languages as Chinglish and English.

I'm sorry, I didn't understand until I began to read official technical and public promotional materials that it is not a poor attempt to use English that I was reading but a widely used and understood language that to an English speaking person appears to be poor and improper language but is in fact a unique language being represented as English.

If you would like to take a chance on seeing the extent of the language Click Here.

I haven't found any recognition that it is an established language but I can come to no other conclusion at this time.

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