This Saturday I was heading to a party at a friend's place. Since he lives about 15 subway stops away (don't worry, I brought a book) I really didn't feel like carrying some snacks and drinks for the party on such a long trip. I asked him if there was a good convenience store near him where I could pick up some stuff. He suggested the 7-11 in the subway stop I would be getting out at. I got there and grabbed a few things and went up to pay. After I paid, they told me to pick 7 of these scratch ticket things. This kind of small lottery is pretty popular in China. Some receipts have a little scratch off area where you can win small amounts of money or prizes. Apparently the government started the program to get people to ask for their receipts more often.
ANYWAY. I was in a little bit of a rush because I thought i was going to be late (I was the first one there...I think I might be obsessed with being on time), so I just went to put the cards in my pocket to look at later. The girl behind the counter looked at in exasperation and told me I needed to scratch the tickets off right then and there. So I moved my stuff to the side and scratched off the cards as fast as I could. Six of them were all the same message and although I didn't understand it, I assumed it was the equivalent of "Thanks for playing, try again". One was different, so I handed it to the cashier. She got REALLY excited.
I won two tickets to the Shanghai Expo. I can't even remember if I have mentioned the Expo in my blog. It's kind of a huge deal and most of the people here (at least the expats I have been talking to) are pretty sick of hearing about it. I personally find Haibao (the Expo mascot that looks like Gumby's shorter, bluer and more annoying cousin) the worst part. He is EVERYWHERE. I will admit thought that the Expo actually does sound pretty cool the more I hear about it and I figured it's kind of essential that I go before I leave China. The cheapest ticket that I have seen is about 160RMB for a one day pass, so even if that's what I won, it's a value of over 300RMB, which is pretty cool. Apparently the 7-11 workers thought it was a big deal. They took a picture of me and took my name down. I'm assuming it's to hang up my picture and say I won there (like they do with the lottery back in the US). EIther that or they thought I was just so darn pretty.
So now I get to go to the Expo. And for free too!