That story IS funny! My only dealings with Shanghai involved ordering DVDs from EBay, which sadly were counterfeit copies made there. I thought I was getting a good price on Harry Potter DVDs. They showed up with perfect light-scribed or silk-screened graphics on the DVD, but no packaging, just flat color-copies of the original DVD label that's folded over the disk and sealed in clear plastic. But boy, you can sure tell that they were copies. The pixelization and extra compression caused by DVD copy programs made them look terrible. Lesson learned.
I don't know if you guys ever wondered what home electronics would cost if you could just get closer to the source, but I have. As you know, what I lack in homr theater knowledge, I can more than make up for in cheapness. So, a few weeks ago, I was in Shanghai on business and decided to go check out prices on home theater stuff and see if I could find any bargains. We had been on a tour that day and I told our guide what I was looking for. She assured me that she knew of a huge place to shop for such things and it wasn't very far from my hotel. She wrote down the name of the place and directions in Chinese for me to give to the taxi driver and, later that night, off I went. Shanghai is a totally gridlocked city of 22 million people and even though the great electronics miracle I was heading to was only 4-5 miles away, getting there took about 1/2 hour. Even that travel time is only possible because the cab drivers are near suicidal. I can only describe their driving style as that of a running back looking for a whole in the line. They just sort of look for open spaces and hit the gas. In fact, the left turn accross 4 lanes of traffic that we frequently had to make to get into our hotel became known as "the left turn of death". So anyway, after 1/2 hour of the fight for survival known as a cab ride was finally over, the driver at last pulled up in front of the great consumer electronics store that the tour guide knew would knock my socks off. That's right. You guessed it. I was at Best Buy! I'm not even going to go into the story about getting home but it inviolved outrunning small Asian women to cabs and Taxi drivers that didn't know the name of my hotel in English.
After currency exchange, the prices were about the same as here which I suppose confirms what some of you already believe but I refuse to accept, that there is such thing as being too cheap.