Sunday, January 2, 2011

Beijing, China

Beijing has been quite the interesting place. Let me list a few of the things we have done:

- Bargaining. At each marketplace we've gone to my Dad is a pro at getting a good price. The Chinese swear they are losing money on each purchase my Dad makes (but if you ask me... if you're losing money, you wouldn't sell at all!). One of the funniest things a lady ever said to my Dad was, "I want to KILL YOU!"

-The Circle. On Christmas Eve we planned to go to a restaurant called The Circle. We called ahead and made a reservation, noting that they close at 9pm. We went shopping that day for white elephant gifts and got stuck in good old Beijing traffic. We made it to the Christmas Eve service (where we had to bring our passports because the Chinese people are forbidden to be involved in the Christian faith) late. On the way there my Dad called the restaurant to explain our problem. He asked when they close. 9pm. They asked us when we would be able to make it. We said 9pm. They said no problem. It was the craziest thing. We got to the restaurant and it was completely dark, closed, except for one room for our family. The restaurant was closed, but they kept it open for us. It was quite magical.

-Knock-Knock Stores. There are these stores. You can get Northface jackets for $40. Brand new DVD's for $1.50. Ugg Boots for $30. But there's a catch. These stores aren't just anywhere. They are tucked away in buildings behind buildings within buildings with high security down alleys with no name. You may get locked in a room while the police raid these buildings (this happened to my Mom and sister). The stores are rooms within rooms with more rooms stock FULL of merchandise of all different qualities. You can get knock-offs or the real thing, which are all stolen from the factories based here in China. It's quite the operation. I got myself a pair of Uggs.

So those are just a few of the things we have done. It's been quite interesting and should continue to be.

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