Friday, July 5, 2013

Day 17 – The day of nothing….

There is nothing much to report today except that our evening was canceled at the last minute.  Students went their own way this morning and into the afternoon.  This evening we were supposed to visit Beihai Park and then head to Hou Hai for a relaxing night of hanging out at some very cool places with live music.  However, when we met around 5pm we were notified by a couple of people that there was a dust storm headed our way, and also a thunderstorm.  We scrapped those plans and everyone simply did their own thing.  Some folks went shopping, others stayed back at the dorms to do laundry and some even did some work on their projects.  A few of us met for dinner at one of the cafeteria’s on campus, then we came directly back to the dorms to relax.  From what I could tell, some are still out shopping and meandering around the city, but most are back at the dorms getting some necessities accomplished.  Since there is nothing much to report, I’ll leave you with a post from Catherine Lin

“Everything Has a Cost”

Of all the wonderful experience I had in China, it comes with bad ones too. I especially hate the rain, and let alone thunderstorms. Being prepared at all times means to bring that heavy and burdensome umbrella at all times. Because of the unpleasant rain, I got into the habit of checking the weather about every two hours. But a lot of times the weather forecast doesn't seem to know what Beijing’s endless changing climate is going to do either.

I got up in the morning today and checked the weather on my phone. “Okay, sunny all day except after 10pm” I said to myself. Afternoon came around and I planned to go shopping. I need shoes, not just want them. I don’t think I can wait till July if I need it today right? I set off to Hong Qiao Market, also known as Pearl Market to find the pair of flats that I saw last time. Determined to get it at the lowest price possible before it closes, I made it just in time to the wonderful rush hours. Clinching on to my bag, I squeezed into the metro. My face probably looked pissed off, seeing people around me trying to give me some space around me. But they didn’t matter much at that time, I was thinking of a strategy of getting those cute flats.

Finally arriving at Pearl Market, I went straight to the second floor with all the bags and shoes piled in a somewhat orderly fashion. I saw the shoes and started to bargain on the price. With no time to spare, I used Chinese right off the bat to get a low starting price. After spending a min or so I got it down to ¥60. Not good enough! I moved on. Because the market is almost closing the ladies didn’t seem too interested in the business either.

I turned a corner and found the pair of flats again. Despite of speaking Chinese, the starting price was higher than the first store. “¥120” she said, thinking it would be impossible, I threw out ¥35. She didn’t seem to be unhappy about the price so the process began. After what felt like an hour trying to get the price down, I got the shoes for ¥40. I’m sure I could have got it for a lower price, but whatever, I needed them. Like now.

Looking at the time, it was 8:30pm. “I can make it back on time before the rain” I thought. But the weather forecast completely failed me. I stepped out of the market, the bright thunder and warm rain welcomed my presence. The metro was still crowded, but with the added element of wet umbrellas.

Getting out of the station and hating on every puddle that I have to dodge, I made it back to school. I guess that ¥20 that I didn’t spend at the first store is the cost of being in the rain.

Until tomorrow……

1 comment:

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