Saturday, April 11, 2009

Silk Market

Shopping at the Silk Market was the worst experience of my whole life. I had been told by multiple individuals, including my sister, that I had to go there to get the fake knockoffs. My sister had warned me about the tactics of sellers- she said that women would come up to her and call her "You mean lady- how am I supposed to feed my children." I've been to Mexico, Morocco, and other tourist attractions around the world and I thought that I was ready for this. At all of the tourist attractions that I attended in China had the usual vendors and I handled them quite well. Once I specifically said "No" and shook my head, looking away, they left me alone. This was NOT the case at the silk market. As I would walk down the aisle of vendors, vendors would hollar at me as I passed, saying things like "Hey pretty lady, come check out my stuff" and the calling would come from both sides of the stalls and would sometimes last long after I had passed their stand. Vendors would come out and get into my face about the wares. I was curious to see just how good these "deals" were and so I stopped at one toy stand and asked about a stuffed panda. The girl told me it was 28o yuan- I knew that this was a MAJOR rip-off since the nearly identical one I saw at the zoo gift shop was only 80 yuan. I said I wasn't interested and she said that she could give me her employee discount and she tapped out some numbers on a calculator and showed me a price of 170 yuan. I told her I wasn't interested- because I REALLY wasn't- and she asked me how much I would be willing to spend on it. I told her that I wasn't interested and she then blocked me into her stall. I literally had to push to one of her sides to get out and she then started to chase me- but she finally stopped. This was just WAY too much for me. Some people really enjoy haggling prices- I am not one of those. I never have been- I can handle a little, but this was completely over-the-top. I didn't need any "fake, cheap crap" badly enough to warrant spending any more time there. Definitely not my thing- but, it was the place where I saw the greatest concentration of non-Asians. And they had like 4 floors of goods, ranging from perfume to shoes to suitcases to clothing to toys. So, if you like bargaining for deals and "designer" labels, this is definitely the place for you.

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