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Chapter 9

Early next morning, they went to the bank and withdraw all their families’ savings with the bank book and kept in a bag. A total of 143,600 RMB. Feng’s family had a total of 112,800 RMB savings.

The two then drove to the International hotel. This timing is the time where the guests’ traffic is at the peak.

When they reach, they saw three foreigners standing by the road side waving for taxi. Bing city is the first city in China to have taxi. The development of the taxi industry here is the fastest and the best in China.

“Excuse me, are you waiting for a taxi?” Feng Yu approached them and asked in English.

A blond foreigner looks at Feng Yu curiously and look at the jeep parked at a distant. He nodded and asked Feng Yu: “How much do you charge from here to the river side?”

They had been conned by these types of private hire taxi before. Normal taxi will charge them 5 RMB but these private hire taxi will charge them 50 RMB for the same distance!

“10 dollars, but we only take RMB.” Feng Yu replied.

“Why? I pay you in US dollars. 5 US dollars. You can exchange it for more than 10 RMB.” The foreigner replied feeling puzzled. He had used USD here before and most shops are more than happy to accept USD. The only exceptions are those small roadside shops. Why did this young man refuse to accept USD?

“No, we just want RMB. You don’t you have RMB?  I can help you exchange your USD for RMB at a higher rate compared to the market.” Feng Yu smiled slyly.

During this time, it is not easy or foreigners to exchange foreign currencies for RMB. Furthermore, Americans always think that USD is a global currency and can be accepted everywhere.

The blond foreigner sneered. This young man’s real intention is to exchange foreign currencies and have no intention of renting the car out.

“How much RMB can you offer for 1 USD?” The blond foreigner asked.

Feng Yu replied: “3.8 RMB. It is higher than the market rate. The exchange rate is now about 3.7 RMB.”

Blond foreigner: “No, 4 RMB!”

“Then this deal is off. There are many other guests at this hotel that needs to exchange currencies. I will not hold you back then. Goodbye.” Feng Yu said.

“Wait a minute, how much can you change for us?” The blonde noticed that this kid is not easy to deal with and is most probably a veteran.

“How many USD do you have?” Feng Yu asked.

The three foreigners discussed for a minute and replied: “$5,000 USD!”

“No problem, please follow me to the jeep.”

The deal went well and both sides were happy. The Americans felt that they had gotten a good deal. Using RMB in China is more worthwhile and can avoid being cheated. Also, the exchange rate Feng Yu offered is higher than the market. Feng Yu is also happy. There are many people that want to exchange RMB for USD.

Feng Yu asked Li Shiqiang: “You able to find people to exchange RMB for USD?”

“Of course! And I guarantee the rate will be more than 4 RMB!” Li Shiqiang replied. When he was exchanging the rubles, someone had approached him asking for USD.

Feng Yu continued loiter around the entrance of International Hotel.

Feng Yu will approach anyone who wears a suit, or looks like a rich man. He will ask them if they need any RMB or foreign currencies.

This continued till noon. Both of them had exchange around 50,000 RMB in return for USD and ruble. Other than USD and Rubles, there are lesser demand for other foreign currencies.

They had lunch at a small noodle shop nearby and return to the International hotel.

Kirilenko had almost finish his work in Bing city and will be going back in two days’ time.  He intends to buy some China’s products back as souvenirs for friends and family.

In China, foreigners are often cheated. For example, the price tag would just display a number ”1”. The foreigners will think that it is 1 RMB but it actually meant 10 cents. Also, when the foreigners pay in foreign currencies such as Rubles, the other party will just feign ignorance and treat these currencies as RMB.

Kirilenko had decided to look for the hotel manager to help him exchange some Rubles for RMB. The bank is too far and no one understands Russian there.

Isn’t that the young man who sold him the black bear fur at a high price? Just nice. I wanted to teach him a lesson for lying to me!

Kirilenko walked over to Feng Yu angrily.

“Mr. Kirilenko, we met again.” Feng Yu smiled.

“Are you here to sell your prey? The last time, you sold me the bear hide for 20,000 rubles but I had asked around. The market price for bear hide is only 5,000 RMB. You are a liar!” Kirilenko said while holding on to Feng Yu’s arm.

Feng Yu immediately explained: “There are many types of bear hide. The hide I sold you is an excellent quality hide. Those 5,000 RMB hide are substandard old fur with bullet and worm holes. You can go and ask around.”

“Is that so? Then I might have misunderstood you. Have hunted Siberian tiger? I want high quality tiger fur.” Kirilenko said and loosened his grip. He had always wanted to buy tiger hide.

Siberian tiger A rich man with low IQ! This is Feng Yu’s impression of Kirilenko.

The only time he saw a Siberian tiger is at the zoo during his previous life.

“Sorry, tiger fur is not easy to get. But if you want other animals, such as mink or fox’s fur, I can help you get.”

Kirilenko disappointedly shook his head. If he is able to get tiger fur, then he can return to his country and boast to his friends. Who else can hunt a tiger and bear in a single trip!

Seems like his dream will not come true. But to successfully hunt a black bear, is enough for him to boast for the rest of his life.

Seeing Kirilenko is about to leave, Feng Yu hurriedly stopped him: “Mr. Kirilenko, if I am not wrong, you still have a lot of rubles with you? I remembered that you are going back soon.  Will you be buying some Chinese souvenirs? It will be more convenient and cheaper if you are using RMB. I can exchange your rubles for RMB for a small transaction fee.”

When dealing with other guests, Feng Yu will offer higher exchange rates, but not for someone as rich as Kirilenko. Feng Yu have other ways to earn money from him.

Kirilenko raised his brows and replied calmly: “Transaction fees? There is no transaction fees if I go to the bank.”

“Banks do have transaction fees and you still need to queue. Also, you can’t exchange large amounts at the bank and there are no one who is able to speak in Russian there. Mr. Kirilenko, don’t you agree that it is more convenient to use RMB in China?” Feng Yu said.

From Kirilenko’s reply, Feng Yu knew that Kirilenko wanted to exchange Rubles for RMB.

“How much can you exchange and how much is the transaction fees?” Kirilenko asked.

“The rate is 1 Ruble to 4 RMB. The extra are my transaction fees. I can exchange 20,000 rubles for you now. Anything more than 20,000 Rubles, will have to wait one or two days.” Feng Yu replied. For someone who is able to buy a bear fur for 20,000 Rubles must be very rich. Feng Yu wondered what business does Kirilenko do.

Kirilenko looked at Feng Yu, who is not carrying any bags, and ask: “You can exchange 20,000 Rubles now?”

Feng Yu pointed to the Jeep not far away: “In the car.” Seeing Feng Yu pointing over, Li Shiqiang hurriedly wave back.

“OK, I’ll change 20,000 rubles. Wait a moment. I will go back to my room to get the money.” Kirilenko said.

Feng Yu clenched his fist tightly. It seems that he is able to exchange all his money within the next hour.

The transaction went smoothly in the jeep and before getting off the jeep, Kirilenko asked Feng Yu where can he buy Chinese specialties. Feng Yu is ecstatic. Kirilenko is letting him earn more money!

Canned fruits Feng Yu asked Li Shijiang in Chinese: “Brother Li, you know where to buy ham sausage, Jianlibao (a brand of healthy soft drink) and canned fruit?”

Jianlibao  In this era, these Chinese domestic products are very popular in Soviet Union.

“I have a former comrade working in the supply and marketing cooperative. I heard that he have some goods which are not selling well. How much does this Russian want?” Li Shijiang replied.

Feng Yu whispered to Li Shiqiang: “Control your facial expressions and don’t show any sign of happiness. Try have an expression like you are in a difficult position. He wants to use up all 80,000 RMB.”

If not for Feng Yu, Li Shiqiang will certainly jump up excitedly. But now he has a troubled look on his face.

“Is it difficult to get these Chinese specialties?” Kirilenko asked embarrassedly. Looking at the troubled look on that driver’s face, it must be hard to get these souvenirs.

Feng Yu replied: “No. We have the connections but we need his father’s help. So, there will be some extra cost.” he said.”

“I understand. But I’m flying back to Moscow the day after tomorrow. So make it fast. These 1000 rubles is for you. Enough?” It is very common for people to give gifts in exchange for help.

“No problem!” Feng Yu said happily.

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