Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Incredibly Stressful Place for Gifts

We have experienced the full range of the Chinese shopping experience. From the little neighborhood shops to the New York fancy stores and everything in between, including fish markets, tea shops, Tesco, fruit stands, nut stands and food vendors. Yesterday we went to the Incredibly Stressful Place for Gifts.

There were about 5 stories of wares, all in small little booths run by incredibly pushy merchants. You walk down the aisles, and they come at you with their stuff.
Lady don't you want this wallet?
Lady, pretty scarves.
Lady, you need a silk robe?
Lady, real jade/leather/silver/silk.
Lady, lady lady....

They grab your arm, tell you some crazy over inflated price, balk when you counter offer, and follow you stating their final offer which is about 20% of the original offer. So I handled this all with a smile that could freeze soy sauce and a different reply to each shop. It was like a game, trying to find a different way to say no to each person.

Oh, thank you but no.
Thank you, they are pretty, but no.
No, I don't need one.
No, I already have one.
Thanks, but no.
Those are lovely, but no.
Those are really not my style.
Those would look really bad in my home.
I don't need one, but thank you.
I actually don't think those are pretty.
No, no, really no.

Thank goodness for Angelina, she got us some great deals! I love it here, there are beautiful moments of calm that balance the stress. Little scenes from the bus that melt my heart. The adorable children. The dignity of an old person. A bike piled so high with stuff that it makes me laugh. The beauty alongside the ugly of it all that is China.

I am posting a mix of photos, no theme.