I always do my research before going somewhere new. Last minute trip to Shanghai did not allow me to do that unfortunately.
Just got scammed and I guess it is a very well known scam in China so my bad for not being prepared.
I was at the Bund and asked by a nice young couple if I could take their picture. They were Chinese on vacation they said and were so happy to finally talk to an American about movies and my culture. The girl was super cute so I totally let my guard down and lapped up every word like a stray dog.
Long story short they had heard of a tea ceremony festival and were wondering if I would like to go. They seemed so nice and so interested in talking to me about America I could not resist. Some authentic Chinese culture with some really nice people...great way to spend the afternoon.
We entered a building and sat down at this table while a Chinese speaking only lady started a presentation. How lucky for me...my new friends said they could kind of understand but she was talking in the Shanghai dialect so it was a little difficult. These guys are sooo good I swear I still did not have even the slightest clue.
The tea was great and so was the presentation. I was really enjoying myself and we were all talking about how nice it was that we met. I was ready to take these guys out for beers afterwards and talk to them about China. Then the bill came and the reality that I was in the middle of an elaborate scam hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been to Thailand a dozen times...how could u be so f..ing stupid I am thinking. The calculator comes out and I cut the price in half. By half I mean $75 American. I should have bolted but I am alone and this is my first time in China so I don't want any problem with police. Now that I think about it though I should have probably started yelling police because they probably would have just told me to leave. Earlier I was trying to take pictures but the lady asked not to be photographed for religious reason...again totally believable.
I am back at the place I am staying now and will be trying to remove the hook from my mouth for the rest of the afternoon. Bad karma is coming these peoples way and I am hoping to send u all a little good karma as well as myself by warning u all of this scam which I guess is all over China :(