(Based on a true story).
JANE CHANG, an American, is browsing the toy section of the Shanghai #1 Department Store. A SHOPGIRL, in a navy blue skirt and blazer sees her from afar and slowly approaches. Shopgirl, in a blunt red-guard bob, is a countryside girl in the big city.
Shopgirl (in Chinese): These cars are very popular.
Jane Chang (in American Chinese): I'm just looking.
(Shopgirl flicks the switch on one of the cars. It flashes like a disco with upbeat music.)
Shopgirl: So many people like this.
Jane Chang: Do you have something without music?
Shopgirl: Over here. All of these don't have music. This one. The doors open.
Jane Chang: That one is nice.
Shopgirl: BMW. And look, it goes.
(Shopgirl kneels on the ground, revs the car backwards and then lets it rip.)
Jane Chang: O! How much is this?
Shopgirl: 147 yuan.
Jane Chang: Can I try?
(Jane Chang tries. It goes. She tries again. It goes again.)
Shopgirl: No lights or music.
Jane Chang: I know.
Shopgirl: I have to make sure. Because there are people who buy this kind of car, and then when they get home, there is no lights or music, and then they come back and yell at me for having no lights or music. (She's a li'l teary)
Jane Chang: They couldn't exchange?
Shopgirl (immediately sober): We don't exchange.
Jane Chang: Even if they have a receipt.
Shopgirl: We don't exchange.
Jane Chang: What if they call the manager?
Shopgirl: He will tell them that all sales are final.
Jane Chang: All sales?
Shopgirl: That is our policy.
Jane Chang: I want one more.
Shopgirl: How about the one with light and music.
Jane Chang: How about this truck.
Shopgirl: The back opens.
Jane Chang: How much?
Shopgirl: 78 yuan.
Jane Chang: Good.
Shopgirl: The truck doesn't move. You have to push it by yourself. The other one can move by itself, but the truck you have to push. By yourself.
Jane Chang: Yes, I understand.
Shopgirl: There are customers that think the truck can move by itself, and when they get home, it doesn't move by itself, and then they come to the store and yell at me, that it doesn't move by itself.
Jane Chang: I want these two.
Shopgirl. These...two. (She takes the shelf tags of each. They walk over to the counter. Shopgirl starts filling out forms, many forms, very diligently. Jane looks at a Mini Cooper while waiting. She picks it up and examines it.)
Jane Chang: How much is this one?
Shopgirl: O that one doesn't have a tag.
Jane Chang: I want to buy this one instead of the BMW.
Shopgirl (with a bit of nervous fear): I've already filled out the form for the red car.
Jane Chang: You can fill out another form.
Shopgirl: We can't sell that one. It doesn't have a tag.
Jane Chang: Where is the tag?
Shopgirl: There is no tag.
(Jane notices that Shopgirl is sort of shaking and uncomfortable. She puts the Mini Cooper back on the shelf.)
Jane Chang: Why do you display the car if you don't sell it?
Shopgirl: It's new stock.
Jane Chang: You Chinese have a funny way of doing business. Someone wants to buy your new stock, which is probably more expensive, yes?
Shopgirl: The tag isn't made yet.
Jane Chang: There is no tag number to copy for your form, but you still display it to show.
Shopgirl: I can't do anything. It's our instruction.
(She continues to fill out forms.)
Jane Chang: Do you have a box or something?
Shopgirl: O. They come in one big box. I don't have a box for each car. Only the big box, which they all came in. We don't have enough room to store them if each car had it's own box.