I could get used to this

I (Tenille) went to check out Yashow Market today.  It is a 5-level building with stalls and stalls of vendors selling clothes, shoes, jewelry, purses, you name it.  My mission was to get a new pair of shoes for Andrew (we lost one of his shoes the other day) and to look for a watch for me.  I had a paper that said that the market opened at 9:30, so I dropped Caleb off at preschool and headed over there in a taxi.  I arrived right at 9:30 to find security guards in front of the doors.  There were about 20 of us waiting there.  After a couple of minutes, I noticed on a sign that it didn’t actually open until 10AM, so I walked around the block to see what was around there.  I found Cold Stone (my yum) and KFC (Don’s yum).  As I returned to the market, a swarm of people had formed.  It was like the day after Thanksgiving as I estimated over 100 people waiting for the stores to open.  At 10AM, they opened the door, and everyone rushed in.  I had Andrew in the stroller, so I waited for a bit.  I honestly couldn’t understand what the rush was.  There are over 500 stalls…plenty to go around.

As I entered and started walking around, the vendors were all saying, "Lady, you need [fill in the blank with whatever they were selling]?  I give you best morning price.  You my first customer, I give you best price."  I guess that explains the crowds.  I stopped by a jeans stall selling mostly True Religion jeans.  The lady insisted they were real and asked for 776 RMB ($110).  I bargained down to 200RMB ($30).  I asked if I could try them on.  They don’t have dressing rooms…instead they hold up a sheet for you while you dress.  It was rather strange to have my bottom half shielded as 5 workers manning their stalls watched me.  I was optimistic with the size I tried on, and they were too tight.  Andrew was starting to fuss, so I moved on despite the lady chasing me down the hall.  I decided I’d better get to my goal of finding shoes for Andrew, so I headed down to the shoes floor.  I haggled with a lady over some Stride Rite shoes for Andrew.  She wanted 200RMB.  I offered 50, and she let me walk away.  I continued looking around, but I really wanted those shoes, so I went back and offered 70.  She let me walk away again saying that her final price was 120.  I looked around some more, and then went back a third and final time offering 90.  We settled on 100RMB ($15).

Honestly I was pretty worn out by this point, and Andrew had fallen asleep in Ergo carrier.  I saw a salon and thought I’d finally try out the super cheap salon services that people rave about here.  I transfered Andrew to the stroller and walked in.  In less than 5 minutes I had 3 people working on me….one guy on my feet doing a pedicure and exfoliation, one guy on my hands doing a manicure, and a girl behind me giving a 30 minute upper body massage.  Heaven!  That is until Andrew woke up about halfway through.  The workers tried their best to
distract him, but he is quite the mama’s boy right now and didnt’t last
long in their arms.  I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – the Chinese people LOVE babies.  Every smile, every noise, every gesture Andrew made elicited laughter and smiles on all of the workers’ faces.  The other customers who were mostly foreigners weren’t as amused, so I think it will be more relaxing for everyone if I go by myself next time.  Nonetheless, two hours and $21 later I walked out of the salon with renewed shoulders, smooth feet, and painted fingernails thinking, "I can most definitely get used to this!"….at least while we’re in China

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