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Alien's Street and Silk Street

Beijing Travel Blog

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Silk Street

Today I put in a hard day's work...and I wasn't teaching!!!  Late (LATE) last night I thought of a game for the students to play.  It's a variation of Snakes and Ladders, but I'm adding ESL stuff in there.  So I worked on that this morning, plus something for my "Meeting a Celebrity" class.  Then at around 3pm I met Becky (one of the local teachers) at the school and we went to Alien's Street in Little Russia.  It was insane!  There was just stall after stall of clothes on the second floor.  The first floor seemed to have bags, perfume and other stuff, but i didn't really look.  Becky bought some leggings, I didn't really find anything I wanted, so we left.  A short taxi ride later (neither of us wanted to do the Chaoyangmen one stop to Jianguomen subway ride only to switch at Jianguomen one stop to Yonganli).

The purse.

Now, Becky and I both knew that the Silk Street is a tourist Mecca.  So I knew they were going to jack up the prices.  I knew this would require Becky's help and some hard bargaining.

Now there's five floors to the market, and we only went to three.  We first walked around the main floor, then went down to look at the handbags.  Now, on the main floor, the sales people tried getting us into their booths, but were easily ignored.  The handbag sales people are not so easily ignored.  They'll shove fake Pradas, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbanas in your face, they'll even touch your arms!  I was looking for a bag, but there was no way I was spending a lot for a fake.  And I know that they are fakes, good quality fakes, but still fakes.

The purse again.
  I saw a Gucci that I wanted, it was pink and looked nice.  So we looked around, asking after prices and trying to get them down.  It tooked like I wasn't going to pay less than 150 ($20) quai for the bag until we went to one stall.  It took almost 10 minutes of bargaining (and twice trying to walk away) before I got the bag for 85 quai ($11.31).  Then Becky bought a Prada, though a few minutes later she lamented that she thought she paid too much.

Anyway, one time when we were trying to walk away, some of the sales people would grab my arm, see the cuts on it  (an unfortunate meeting with a construction truck that WASN'T moving, I was avoiding a moving taxi) and say things like "Oh, you're sick, you're hurt, come look at.

One of the Twins Towers lit up. These are right across the street from Silk Street.
.."  They weren't playing the sympathy card that well.  I did hear a lot of Spanish...coming from the sales people.  Have to admit, I was a little suprised.  And pleased that I understood a lot of what was said. 

Then we went up two flights of stairs to the women's clothes, where we found an Abercrombie and Fitch stall (don't even start...).  And for some strange reason, LFO's "Summer Girls" popped into my head after a few minutes.  I was looking at sweatpants, Becky was looking at shirts and we both bought more than we anticipated.  But I now have a pair of blue sweatpants that sit a little lower on my hips than I'd like, but hey, oh well.  I also bought a gray dress/shirt as well. 

We were almost done.

The other tower lit up.
  I saw a shirt on the main floor that I really liked...a black Diesel.  So we went down, I tried it on and liked it...especially since I plan on wearing my red tank top underneath.  So I did the inevitable...I asked the price.  My answer?  1800 quai!!!  That's almost $240!!!  There was absolutely no way that was going to happen...for a fake Diesel!  That guy must've been cracked, or else he'd gotten all the gullible tourists.  Using the calculator, I showed him 200 quai.  We ended up settling on 220 quai ($29.29) which is still probably more than I should've paid, but it's a whole lot better than 1800 quai.

BTW- quai=yuan=RMB.  One Monopoly-looking currency system with three names.

That's when we left.  I took a few pictures and we split for the night since we have a 3-hour training thing tomorrow starting at 9:30 and we have to be there by 9:15.

She went home, I went to Wal-Mart for a shower curtain and other this-and-thats.  It was nice not to haggle.

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Silk Street
Silk Street
The purse.
The purse.
The purse again.
The purse again.
One of the Twins Towers lit up. Th…
One of the Twins Towers lit up. T…
The other tower lit up.
The other tower lit up.
Beijing Sights & Attractions review
I left the price at average because you can get decent prices if you're willing to bargain and bargain HARD. The sales people are pushy and have noth… read entire review
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photo by: Deats