My University colleagues and I had a meeting yesterday about the new term. We were also told that our canteen cards would lose their credit by the end of the week. I was a bit annoyed as I'd put 200RMB (£20) on mine at the start of term but never used it. But, on the advice of our department leader and with the help of a Chinese English teacher I know, I was able to top up the card to the maximum (adding an extra £80) in order to claim the maximum University subsidy (they add 10RMB for every 4RMB you use, as meals cost 14RMB - £1.40) and then spend the lot on cigarettes (the canteen can't reimburse cash, but you can buy goods to use the card up) and then sell the fags to the next door supermarket. All apparently legit, if time-consuming. I made 1200RMB (£120) profit for an hour of paperwork and queuing! Gotta love China.
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Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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