So this weekend, Allyson and I had our first taste of venturing off into the unknown on our own. After visiting the Jade Buddha, the rest of our group piled back on the bus to head back to the hotel but Allyson and I decided to stay behind to do a little bit of OUR kind of sightseeing. You guessed it, SHOPPING! What can you expect mom and dad, we have had to deprive ourselves in America for far too long. We needed to get our fix. Thanks to Auntie Wan’s great advice, we bargained like madwomen at a four-story mall devoted to knock-off items. “Hey lady, you want purse? Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci? I give good price for you. Come, have a look.” Ah, you had us at fake Chanel. Every vendor had secret compartments or passageways that held “the Good Stuff.” Timidly at first, we walked inside and found ourselves in the Garden of Eden. Someone pinch me. I’ve died and gone to fake designer purse heaven. I could have cried but instead I put on a straight face and began bargaining like no one has ever bargained before. Amazingly, all the vendors spoke english. Apparently they had all learned in the mall by talking with the hundreds of foreigners that stream in everyday. This made bargaining much easier for Allyson and I.
Allyson and I: “500 kuai for a chanel handbag? No way, how about 50?”
Vendor: “Oh lady, you break my heart. Best price? What’s your best price?”
Allyson and I: “You’re breaking our hearts. That’s too expensive. We’re going to keep looking someplace else.”
The walkaway always got them. I think for the first try we did fairly well for ourselves. Don’t worry though moms and dads, we are giving up shopping for awhile…at least two weeks until Allyson’s birthday.
With Coco, Tori, and Marc in hand, we prepared ourselves to conquer the infamous Metro. But first we stopped for some McDonald’s french fries to curb my cravings for American food. Then off we went to find the Metro stop. If any of you ever happen to find ourselves in the depths of the Chinese subway, heed this warning – never, ever, EVER use the bathrooms! OMG it smelt like rotting chou dofu! YUCK! After a quick vomit sesh, we bought tickets for line 11 to Jiadong Bei. Luckily the ticket dispenser had an option for english, a luxury probably unavailable in most parts of the country. And all the signs had english as well. We winded (SP: wound? I should probably brush up on my grammar. Yikes!) our way through the terminal to line 2 then jumped off at the interchange for line 11 and scurried to the train. This line forks at the end so you have to make sure you get on the right train or you’ll end up at the wrong stop. We happened to get on the right change this time but some of our Tong Zhi Men (Comrades) were not so lucky. Disheartened from an unsuccessful trip to the Shanghai Apple Store to fix his crashed computer hard drive, Luke and Matt got on the wrong train and ended up quite far from town. Unfortunately, it was the last train so the boys had to pitch for an expensive cab ride in order to get home. Poor, helpless boys! They should have stuck with us. We made it home without any “China Fails” and bid our lovely purses goodnight.
“Goodnight Coco, goodnight Marc…”