The Lunch Trouble in CBD of Beijing

CBD lunch troubleCBD is an important area that promotes Beijing’s economic development and reflects its modernization. Business consultants, cleaners, media people, parking lot cashier, restaurant waiter … … hundreds of thousands of people maintain CBD’s normal operation. Lunch, one basic trouble on “eating”, reflects the overall ecology of CBD and the city.

Kiki, 27 years old, senior business consultant of accounting company. Her lunch is a package of a Korean restaurant, costs 35 Yuan. Downstairs her company there is a food street, she said: “after eating in dozens of restaurants, I could not find which one to go”

Han Ying, 26, an architect with monthly salary of 7,000 Yuan. Lunch is packed food with one meat and two vegetarian dishes, costs 10 Yuan. Han Ying does not care how well the lunch is; she said that young people came to Beijing not for lunch but to seek opportunities to realize life goals. “Anyway I have strong opinions on the rent price” he added:

Yang Guangming, 31 years old, a parking lot staff, he has a monthly income of about 3,000 together with his wife. Lunch is bread plus box food, costs 8 Yuan. Outdoor worker Yang Guangming said sand and storm would affect his eating and recently he even cannot take in food in high temperatures, he said: “The food here is without chili!” His hometown is Hunan where people like chili very much.

Nate, 23-year-old American, a staff working in Beijing office of a San Francisco Company. At lunch time, he and a friend eat in the street, sauce chicken, fish-flavored eggplant, rice and beer costs him 44 Yuan. Nate likes food stalls in Beijing streets, but does like Beijing’s air. He said: “Only when the air is good, I will come out to eat.”

Hu Lei, 22-year-old, interior designer with variable monthly salary. She takes lunch with her. In first day work she was shocked by the scene of crowd buying lunch. “Buying lunch is just like rushing for something every day.” In order to avoid this, she prepares her lunch every last night.

Li Zhe, 31 years old, editor of Beijing TV. His lunch is fried shrimp, cole with egg, rice, free millet gruel and watermelon, costs 15 Yuan and 80 Fen. He has lunch every day in company’s cafeteria, monthly food subsidy from the company is enough for him, and if being tired of eating from the same big pot he can also go to another restaurant for different flavor. “Working overtime often makes me miss meals, when I am hungry and rush to the restaurant, no food available already.”

Xiao Xin, 28 years old, customer service staff of a collection company. Xiao Xin is holding the food in hand, mostly from colleagues; only fruit box is what she takes, costs 5 Yuan. Xiao Xin eats fruit because she wants to keep fit, but what more important is: “lunch is too expensive!”

Hu Mingming, 21, junior student, intern of a software company, monthly internship salary is 2,000 Yuan. Lunch is pancake, costs 3 Yuan. He said he was lucky, got paid in internships and downstairs there is the cheapest lunch – pancake- in CBD area.

Sun Yuzhen, 48, a cleaner with a monthly salary of 1,500 Yuan. Lunch is cold noodles and fried loin folders, costs 8 Yuan. She said that usually she eats in company’s cafeteria with monthly food subsidy of 200 Yuan, and occasionally goes out to change taste, but the cost will not exceed 10 Yuan. “There are only a few dishes in the company cafeteria”

Wang Bolang, a 22-year-old stylist, his monthly income by his words is “very casual”.  These days he is too busy to eat lunch, only has a bottle of green tea to add water and sugar, and costs 3 Yuan. He said: “Our work is too casual, easy to hurt stomach.”

Mana, 26-year-old film company director, monthly salary is 6,000 Yuan. Lunch is the mother’s hand making dumplings and duck neck from colleagues. Mana’s mother often prepares lunch for her; she heats it in company microwave, but Mana still spends 500 Yuan a month on lunch. “I love to eat small snacks, like to share with colleagues; it is difficult for me to same money for lunch”

Yu Hao Min, 34, owner of a waste recycling company, monthly income ranges from 2000 to 3000 Yuan. Lunch is a box of instant noodles, two sausages and a can of beer.

Xia Tianchen 25-year-oldm marketing staff of magazine “Esquire”. Lunch is roast meat with rice, costs 30 Yuan. He remembered that two years ago with less than 10 Yuan he can buy good quality lunch, and now the same kind for more than 20 Yuan. ”

Gao Si Bei, 24 years old, works on video post-production. Lunch is sushi platter, spiced corned egg and some drink from a convenience store, costs 18 Yuan. She often has a meal together with her colleges, but she felt it is too frequent. “I try to attend only the meal party less than 40 Yuan per person and after each party I will eat less the next day to save money”

Yan Ying, 18, restaurant meal delivery staff, monthly income of 1,700 Yuan. Lunch is noodles provided by restaurant. Yan Ying offers room service almost 20 times a day. After lunch time she starts to eat. Yan Ying said: “Often when I have meal, an order call enters and I have to send food immediately, when I come back, lunch is already cold.”

4 Responses

  1. Some Guy says:

    what I’m thinking is that these are the “reported” salary without “bonus” in order to evade tax. This is fairly common in China, that the year-end bonus is much larger than the actual “salary”. Because I am a foreigner, I cannot avoid tax, so therefor, my company pays me my full salary monthly, and only get the 双薪 at year end. and I pay a heavy tax on top of it. But my Chinese coworkers on the other hand, pays almost no tax, but gets a huge bonus that is about 2-3x their annual salary combined. So from my experience, if someone tells me they make 5000 yuan per month, then I automatically have to assume they are going to get a fat 100,000 yuan bonus at chines new years.

  2. China Whisper says:

    It is a true that many “white colors” earn a low monthly salary in CBD, my girl friend works also in this area with a monthly income of 3500 Yuan per month. Most of her colleges earn 5000-8000 Yuan. The income level is not as high as common people imagine. There is also a Russian working in the company but with the same wage standard.

  3. Some Guy says:

    This is unexpected, i find that the salary reported in the article is surprisingly low. An architect who only makes 7000 RMB? What type of architect is that??? film director makes 6000 RMB per month? May I ask what types of film she make? I find these reported salary ridiculously low for a first-line city such as Beijing.

    Lets try something more interesting here:
    Some Guy, 25, a hard-working architect in Shenzhen with monthly salary of 25,000 Yuan. Lunch is sometimes prepared by girlfriend during the previous night, and during some busy days, he orders 外卖 that cost around 12 RMB, but the taste of 外卖 is horrible and tries best to avoid this method. but sometimes also goes to the CBD and eats a full-out stake dinner with co-worker that cost 400RMB per meal. overall, spends about 2000 yuan per month on lunch.

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