Market Shopping in Beijing
This past weekend in Beijing was so eventful that it's hard to decided what to write about...but I think one of the most interesting cultural experiences was shopping at the market because there is such a HUGE difference from home. Not only did we get a chance to learn about how important is is for Chinese to talk "person to person" about cost, quality, what the product is made of, etc. before buying anything in our lecture last week, but we also got to see this type of "relationship" while shopping in Beijing...
As we walked down the rows of enless knock-off handbags, shoes, shirts, luggage, wallets, sunglasses and then on to the pearls, jade, chopsticks (I could go on forever but I won't), employees yelled "lady, lady...you need handbag (or whatever product they thought we wanted/needed)" encouraging to come to their booth. At first I though it was kind of an interesting way to shop, but once I stopped simply to look, they latched on like a leech and wouldn't let me leave. At one point, Stacy and I had to literally push a lady out of the way as she tried to corner us inside her shop. As we continued to look, I also say some lady pulling (no joke, two handed pull down the row) Cassie. Even as Cassie attempted to remove the lady's grip, she pulled even harder.
After see this, I was annoyed beyond belief and glad that we were going to be leaving soon...I guess it is just another way of shopping, but definetly not something I would want to participate in on a regular basis. Nevertheless, the market had some really good deals (as we are able to bargain things way down) and I want to go back this weekend. At least this time I'll have a better idea of what to expect so that I can mentally (and perhaps physically) prepare to shop :o)