How to get cheated in Central Hong Kong – a beginners guide for long-term expats…

In my previous post about my motorcycle adventure in Vietnam I mentioned that I could’ve kicked myself for not buying a GoPro camera.
Well, now I bought one. And what an incredible nice toy it is. However, buying the little gadget turned out to be a textbook “rip-off the-the-stupid-guy-story”. I should’ve known better to be honest and blame myself for my foolishness….

And it actually all started pretty well. I found a shop in Central Hong Kong, Photo Scientific, that sells the GoPro camera. The price was reasonable, HKD 2800 for the GoPro Hero 3. That’s quite a bit more than you pay in the U.S. but still considerably cheaper compared to what you pay in Europe.

So I entered the shop, picked the camera and feeling so happy to have a new gadget to tinker with, let my guard down. Hey, after all I’m in Hong Kong, right! It’s not China. People don’t screw you over here, correct?

Well, not true I’m afraid….

“Do you need a micro SD card?”, the shop attendant inquired. “The GoPro needs a particular SD card, not a normal one. We have a 32GB card, that is enough space for four hours of 1080HP video.”

Did I need one? Of course I did! So I asked him to add it to the bill, paid and left.

On the metro, I had a look at the micro SD card. The price was HKD 700, which is almost USD 100 or EUR 70. I found that quite excessive.

This being in the 21st century, I took out my iPhone and went on Amazon to check the prices. It turned out, the stupid card I bought for almost 100 bucks less than USD 30 in the States. And even in Hong Kong there are shops that seem to sell if for around HKD 200.

So I was just “overcharged” HKD 500. What a mind-blowing stupid idiot I was…. I was thinking what HKD 500 could buy you…. There’s a pub in Wanchai called Carneggies that offers a bottle of Corona for just HKD 10 Friday nights. So I just wasted 50 beers due to my utter incompetence….

A never ending variation of four-letter words starting with “s” and “f” crossed my mind. I wasn’t cursing the shop attendant. After all, he did his job, ripping off stupid tourists. I was angry with myself for being so careless. That wouldn’t have happened to me in Mainland China. Whenever I’m in China, I automatically switch to an unconscious “watch out, they’re here to screw you over” mode. But in Hong Kong, I let my guard down, and this is what happened…

Luckily, people are more reasonable in Hong Kong. I went back to the shop and told the guy I don’t need the card. I had to buy an accessory for the GoPro camera (a spare battery which came in handy the next day) and he refunded the balance.

I then went to the Wanchai Computer Centre and bought the same SD card for just HKD 240.

So the story ended rather well for me and I could try out my toy on the next day. I mounted it on my motorbike and rode around Hong Kong for six hours. The video below shows one video. I used the Flymount to mount the GoPro on the handle. It worked out really well…

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