Sunday, November 13, 2016

Weekend Edition: shopping in Beijing

On Saturday I went on a school organized shopping trip to Beijing. I paid a small fee and got picked up in a school van that took a group of us to 3 different places in Beijing. The first stop was the Panjiayuan Antique Market, which we had been to in the fall. Surprisingly, there were different things there this time (or...maybe I missed these before). I wandered up and down the aisles and picked up a few things.

Next up: The HongQiao Market (sometimes called the "Pearl Market"). HongQiao is a market where things look they they are from a particular brand, but are actually not. Recently, Beijing has been trying to clean up it's act and so they closed a lot of the Pearl Market. However, the vendors moved around and, because there are some people at our school who have shopped in Beijing for a long time, they know where to find the sellers.

There are two basic scenarios at this market and both are just as you probably imagine: 1. everyone calling you over telling you that they have a "special price" just for you-those are out in the open and 2. shops that look closed or have a teeny display of jewelry and then you go behind a curtain and find a room stuffed with shoes.


 The things sold here look SO REAL. And hey, if it holds together and is comfortable, does it really matter if they're "Xianku" and not "Dr. Martens" boots? (I'll let you know!)

I was so distracted by the Lepin brand that I didn't even notice that it's STAR WNRS

My "Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit" is pictured on the left in poor lighting. The picture from their website in really good lighting is on the right:
See? So close! It was tons of fun and in the end I got some new jewelry, boots and a new coat (phew, now I can save the faux fur for special occasions!). Last, we made a quick stop at Marks and Spencers (meh) and then we were back in Tianjin in a few hours. 

Unrelated to the markets in Beijing, Sunday afternoon Jim and I took the electric bike out. I've recently been sewing my own clothes and really gotten to know the various ways to buy fabric. Today I wanted to get some fabric for a dress and some pants and so we went to the market by the People's Park

this is supposed to be one of those hip, slouchy hats....on me it seems to stand straight up. Thanks, Obama

I found what I needed pretty quickly, negotiated a decent price and went across the street to check out the People's Park. It was, as parks in China seems to always be, amazing and beautiful and interesting.

People playing music as well as playing along to the music and dancing:

A woman practicing something awesome:

A guy practicing the flute:

A guy practicing the bull whip:

And for dinner-
When we got home, we got dinner from the smoked mutton guy. He's always right outside the gate. When I learn more Chinese I will ask him what his name is and let you know (something like Ni shu shenma mingzi)

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