Scam de la creme: How I got scammed by two old Chinese ladies.
There I was walking by myself in Beijing, minding my own business. I entered a giant shopping street where two Chinese women approached me. They told me they wanted to practice their English and if it might be an idea to just walk around together and talk a bit. I thought: Why not, could be fun…
We talked and laughed a bit, and I told them that I was looking to something to eat. They said, ‘might be nice to drink some coffee/tea together while eating? Then we can talk some more.’. Sounded like a plan, who knows where I might end up. We walked into a side street of the big shopping street and entered a small place with a sign above it which said ‘Coffee Bar’. Inside the walls were dark with a few art thingy’s on the wall. Once inside, we were led into a very small “private” room. I started to get a bit suspicious.
They started talking about noodles for 90 Yuan (€13,20), this is very pricey since you can get these also for 17(€2,49) and cheaper. So that’s what I said and asked for the menu. I didn’t want to be rude, so I just ordered the cheapest thing that that was on it 😛
A teapot filled with green tea for 50 Yuan (€7,30). To give you an idea, you already get a place to sleep in a hostel for 55 Yuan. Shortly after I had ordered, the two women ordered coffee. And then… then… then the check came: 200 Yuan (€29,38). If I wanted to pay that fully.
I said that I had only ordered a pot of tea of 50 and asked the women: ‘Are you going to pay as well or what?’. One of the females answered, ‘For Chinese it’s usual that the man pays’, after which she laughed. To which I replied: ‘Okay that is really nice, but I’m not Chinese and I’m not going to pay for you’. Unfortunately I had only large bills of 100 (€14,69) on me. So eventually we split the bill. After that we went our separated ways. And I was a bit annoyed and wondering whether it was really a scam or just coincidence and bad luck.
Until I walked around the same area 2 days later. And a Chinese lady, in a golden dress with fashionable big sunglasses, started talking to me. She spoke English well, and asked if she could help me since I was looking a bit disoriented. After talking for a bit she said that she wanted to ‘improve’ her English and if we could get a coffee (where did I’ve heard that before?). So I thought, ‘Okay let’s see where she is going to take me to’ and guess what… we stood in front of the same coffee bar. At that point I said: ‘No I’m not going to do this. Bye!’ and walked away with the certainty that I was fucked over the day befor.
> After that I pursued her for a bit like a detective. With a newspaper with holes to really blend in, you know the drill. Soon she had a new victim and I noticed that I wasn’t really good in following someone (see video below… excuses for not keeping the cam still during filming).