I apologize in advance for the typos. The button for spell check is in Chinese, LOL. Actually, that message goes for the rest of my posts…
Today I went to the Pearl Market. It’s sort of like a huge flea market with just about anything you could ever try to find…from fake Rolexes to interesting clothing and jewelry. I ventured out with Matt (the guy I talked about yesterday). Richelle was suppose to go but decided that she should probably try and catch her flight back home instead, LOL.
Apparently everything in Beijing is negotiable. Actually, it’s one of the biggest complaints that I’ve had about the city. The people here try to get over on you whenever they can…so it’s kinda hard to just relax and have a good time or just enjoy the ride in the taxi cab–because if you aren’t paying attention, it’s quite likely that you’ll end up going around the same block four times. Anyway so Matt and I are at the market and he’s teaching me how to get the best price for things. Not that I can’t hold my own when it comes to bargaining, but my notion of what things cost and what I would be willing to pay for an item and what (from his perspective) should be paid for things are completely different. I start to feel sorry for people, knowing that they probably have a sister working in a sweatshop somewhere breaking bones trying to produce this item… His perspective: it costs about 10 US cents to make, so paying anything more than that is insane, LOL. There really is a “technique” to doing the whole haggling thing. I was actually very amused watching him do all of this over and over and over again. He was quite bold at times too…sometimes he would just put money on the table and walk away with the item, LOL. But his technique involved a lot of flurting with the women…clearly that won’t work for me, LOL. Even though I don’t think I’ll get to his level of expertise, I do think I picked up a few pointers, LOL.
After the market, I went to the Forbidden City and Tienamen Square. Both were just overwhelming. The sheer size of these places (and the number of people there) was just mind boggling! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people in one place in my life, LOL.
The Forbidden City is a palace, in the middle of Beijing, that the emperors use to reside at. However, commoners were not allowed to go in, hence the name. I can’t begin to describe how huge this place was. And the history that goes along with it. Apparently there was a concubine who “worked her way up” (LOL) to become an emperess. For some reason, out of all the things I learned there today, that stuck out the most, LOL. There wasn’t much more to it than the buildings and a (very) few artifacts.
After that I thought that it would be a good idea to walk to get some Beijing Duck for dinner. My feet clearly thought otherwise. But I did manage to wander around the city a bit before I broke down and got a cab.
The Beijing Duck is absolutely fabulous. And honestly, I don’t much care for Duck. I went to a restaurant that is one of the oldest in the city. The restaraunt itself was about four stories and was the biggest place I’d ever been to eat at!
Okay, I think I’m about to get booted off of this computer…so I’m going to have to abruptly end here, LOL. More later…