Ikea’s sleepy customers – in pictures | Business | theguardian.com

Ikea’s sleepy customers – in pictures | Business | theguardian.com.

If only this was quite as it seems. In fact, most of the sleeping in Ikea in China tends to be done in the sofa section, which is usually near the entrance. And the Chinese don’t just sleep on them. I’ve also seen women changing babies on the display furniture without the slightest regard for anyone else.

In China, there are two sorts of people – conspicuous consumers, who think nothing of wasting huge amounts of money on, say, overpriced handbags (or products from Ikea), and the rest who may not be that impoverished, but are cheap.

These are the people like the good ol’ boys who used to watch DVDs in the Walmart down 青石路 even although they were never ever going to buy the player or the screen.

These are the people who sit on the banks of chairs in bookshops reading books, but almost certain never buying them.

These are the people who never get the brakes on their electric bikes replaced, but use their feet as brakes instead; and who don’t replace the lights either.

A lot of people don’t have 2角 to rub together, but the culture of parsimony remains widespread in China even among people who don’t need to pinch pennies to that degree.

Since I wrote this this morning, pictures of two bright young female things flaunting copious quantities of cash have been mentioned on line today. One is alleged to have made the money from betting on the World Cup (although isn’t gambling illegal in China?), and the other appears to be some vulgar nouveau riche sporting sums of money beyond most of the rest of the population of the planet yet not above flaunting herself in bra and knickers on a bed heaped with ¥100 notes.

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