Recession? What Recession?

Sweet ride!

I don’t want to make light of the economic downturn that has affected the entire world. Here in England, the media are really painting a picture of doom and gloom. Many retailers have gone bust or in to administration, including Woolworths, Whittard Tea, Officer’s Club (mens clothing), MFI (furniture retailer), Zavvi (music retailer, formerly Virgin Megastore) the list goes on.

But to be honest for me, things have never been better. Firstly, the RMB has appreciated sharply against the British pound since I last visited. It was 15 rmb to the pound just a few months ago, it’s now closer to 10 rmb. On top of that, retailers usually start the sales after Christmas, but this year, due to the poor economy, almost every retailer was offering deep discounts several weeks before Christmas.  So on my very first day in London, I picked up two suits at Emporio Armani, both at half price (600 pounds down to 300 pounds).  The original price in London was already way cheaper than Shanghai, so imagine how attractive 50% off and a stronger RMB would be. And finally of course as a non-resident, I will get the value added tax refunded at the airport when I leave the UK on Sunday.

WoAi gets behind the wheel for the first time in 2008.

With all the savings, I’ve had money left over to hire this Porsche for a few days. Some people were a bit horrified when I told them how much I spent to hire a car for a few days, but then you have to bear in mind this is my total motoring expenses for the whole year. If I lived in England, I’d spend more than that just on fuel in a year, then there’s road tax, insurance and depreciation to add to that. Remember guys, I take the bus to work every day when I am in Shanghai, so don’t give me any grief about this!

Details: Car hire by Prestige Car Hire.
Car is a Porsche Cayman S (2008 model) – 225 pounds (2300 rmb) per day plus delivery and VAT.
Leather jacket 395 pounds (4000 rmb) from Emporio Armani.
Jeans 40 pounds (400 rmb) by Gap, London.

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18 Responses to Recession? What Recession?

  1. Sue says:

    You paid 40 pounds for Gap jeans???? You need to come over to LA.

  2. Tracy says:

    It’s doom and gloom for people who don’t have money, spent way too much money during the good times or just got laid off.

    For people who saved up and still have jobs, there’s no better time than a recession. Everything’s so cheap!

  3. T says:

    40 pounds for Gap jeans?!

    Wow, I second Sue. You can get Gap jeans for $40 .. . retail. If you go during a sale period or to an outlet they usually run $20-$25.

  4. Miss Jane says:

    Clearly someone has fallen into the GAP. :P

    Ps. I think renting a red Ferrari would have been more fun!

  5. Dingle says:

    certainly didn’t look like there was much of a recession in Stoke the last few days, the town centres have been completely rammed.

    Reclaiming VAT? I didn’t even know you could do that!

  6. D says:

    nice car, goes well with the leather jacket:)
    is there car hiring business in shanghai? could be good business?

  7. b says:

    My jaw dropped when I saw that porsche. I take it that you live in a relatively affluent area of London. In certain parts of UK, to drive that car is an invitation for people to scratch it. Were there many dissapointed female faces when you told them the car was rented?

  8. Rich says:

    Vandalism is fairly rare in london and is also not dependent on the value of a car. Cheap motors get targeted too.

    Woai rarely leaves women disappointed ;) Gold diggers need not apply.

  9. Rich says:

    Oh dont forget the cost of petrol is also 25% cheaper than it was during the summer. You should stay longer bruv!

  10. i liked your shoes the best . . . =)

    i third the notion that you paid L40 for Gap jeans . . .

  11. WoAi says:

    Sue – That’s UK prices for you, we’re used to it. Petrol also costs about double here compared to the US.

    Tracy – I think you summed it up perfectly.

    T – Yeah, ok, we get it, America is cheap.

    Dingle – It’s the same in other countries you visit too, there’s no tax on products that are being exported out of the country. But it’s only worthwhile on big purchases. It’s not worth doing on anything under 50 pounds.

    D – Are you kidding? You hire out a Porsche you’ll never see it again!

    b – This is London. When I drove it to pick up my suits, people in Ferraris were pointing and laughing at my low end Porsche. In the shopping centre car park there were hundreds of other better Porsches. When I came back to the car, people had put 10 pound notes under the wipers with notes of sympathy.

    Angie – Puma Ferrari shoes. I know it’s a bit odd driving a Porsche with Ferrari shoes, but well, I couldn’t find any Porsche shoes.

  12. Sue says:

    Well at least you didn’t go for the boxster. Yes, i’ve noticed the numeric numbers are very much the same while buying anything in UK except when you do the exchange its a bloody double for us dollars!! So imagine my shock for paying Dim Sum for a table of 10….in LA it would run around 100 or so dollars no big deal… UK its also a hundred or so BUT pounds!!! Bloody hell! 200 something bucks for dim sum!! Now thats expensive! Fine, call me cheap – can’t help it, we are now MEI CHAN.

  13. WoAi says:

    Sue – I don’t think you realise how cold it is in London this week. A Boxter would be pointless, although it would be perfect if I was driving in LA with the top down.

  14. shopgirl says:

    can i ask, are you a permanent resident in China? cause i assume u have UK passport.

    imagine if i had one and was in swedens louis vuitton store. man that would be HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!

  15. taiko says:

    Glad to see shopboy is alive and doing well. Keep up the good work, somebody has to buy us back out of the recession.

  16. D says:

    woai its been snowing all day today in london.
    glad you are back to sh okay :)

  17. WoAi says:

    Shopgirl – Yes I have a British passport and no I don’t have permanent residency in China, it is VERY hard to get that.

    Taiko – Cheers. I’ll stop shopping when I stop breathing!

    D – Yes, but at least you have heating inside in London, it’s freezing here at home with only Tommy to keep me warm.

  18. If you ever are in Birmingham, i will show you a real Porsche ;)

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