Thursday, July 17, 2008
Chinese Silk Market!
Nihao all! Today Laura, Anna (pictured to the right, in the Hello Kitty stall), and I traveled to the Silk Market! We left school at 9:10 am, and got to the silk market 40 minutes ready to shop. We brought our own bags, and the knowledge that the prices at the Silk Market tend to be marked up--especially for foreigners.
We walked into the first floor, eager to bargain. At the first stall, we focused all our energy, ready to talk the shop keeper down. When we started to bargain with her, she said, "Maybe you go to the third floor. Cheap there." That made us a bit discouraged, but once we realized we were on a "nicer" floor, we moved up to floors where we thought we could do better.
On the next level, we managed to talk down some nice jeans from around 500 yuan to a mere 150 yuan. Laura and Anna each bought a pair. We walked past stall by stall, sometimes getting pulled in (literally) by shop keepers, some times just glancing up at a shirt or two, all the while keeping our eyes down. As we went on, we each started to separate a little, and bargain separately. I bought some souvenirs for myself as well as for friends, and got some pretty good deals. I even bought a really nice bag--something you'd pay $30-$50 for in the US, for only $7 US.
The Silk market was a cultural experience in itself. Walking though aisles of jade, jewelry, silk scarves, shirts, toys, etc., was a little overwhelming, but Anna, Laura, and I got some good stuff, and are definitely planning on going back--and soon! All and all, three hours later, we walked out confident to bargain again--and none of us spent much over $100 US dollars.