Bargaining Joys!

16 Sep

The famous Silk Market: Brooke and I had a BLAST! It was a long and tiring day but totally worth it even with every sore joint and muscle that proved to me that my body can only do so much!

the Silk Market

the Silk Market

Tired but on the Move: I had gotten up early that day as I had a few morning classes. I biked to school, spent time with the kids, sang songs, shared stories and principles, and then rushed home by early afternoon. Not wanting to waste time, we quickly left, walked to the subway station, and boarded. Taking the subway is the greatest way of transportation – you buy a one-way ticket that only costs about $0.15 in USD! The subway was overcrowded which didn’t leave room for an empty seat. So standing for about 13 different stops and changing lines gave me plenty of time to feel some sore achy muscles. By the time we made it to our destination of great buys though, I was more than ready!

We spent a few hours perusing and browsing. Bargaining too?! Why, yes, of course!!! It is an exhausting experience, let me tell you….

Bargaining w/ Sara: So my suitcase had broken in my travels and I really wanted one of those nice light-weight ones. I hadn’t gone to the market planning on buying one but sometimes you just can’t help it especially when you’re held in the booth against your will. Seriously, they hold onto your arm and drag you in! This certain lady was trying to impress me with the durability of the suitcase by standing on it and showing me the convenience of its others features like its 360 degree wheels, zippered compartments, etc – I will admit that it didn’t take long to impress me until I asked how much. 1300 yuan!!!!! You’ve got to be kidding, I thought! NO WAY would I ever pay that! She tried to get me to name a price and I just felt plain awful even mentioning a price because I really didn’t want to pay much at all. She was getting irritated with me that I wasn’t bargaining. So finally in desperation and a laugh, I told her I would give her 200 yuan! She said I was joking and begged for a serious price. I refused and stood my ground. She called me a stingy American and I told her that I wasn’t forcing her to sell her goods and tried to walk away. She was becoming angry. I was able to finally break away and as I was walking down the aisle, I heard her yelling “American”, “American” – I turned around and she motioned for me to come back. I’ll give it to you for 220 yuan, she said in aggravation and disgust. Okay – Sold! So needless to say, I walked out of the silk market a very happy shopper knowing that I got a new light-weight suitcase for about $35 USD!

Pulling off the ‘Tourist Look’: Now getting that suitcase home was another story all of its own. Trying to cram myself and a huge suitcase in an over-stuffed subway and then dragging it up and down stairs and wheeling it down each and every road was quite the feat but I kept telling myself “Sara you’ll be happy….it’s worth it all”!

So, yeah, bargaining can be quite adventurous especially when you can hardly speak a lick of Chinese but it’s a great life in the heart of Beijing!

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2 Responses to “Bargaining Joys!”

  1. Liz September 16, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    Sara. You are unbelievable. Honestly, that was hilarious. I don’t know that I would’ve stood my ground but you are absolutely crazy and brave and I’m so proud of you! Haha! So happy you’re having a blast! 😀

  2. Shannon September 18, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    LOL! Sara, that’s the funniest story I’ve read in a long time!!! Thanks for sharing your experience and giving us a laugh! 😉

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