We woke up to another hot day in Beijing. With plans on going to the Panjiayuan Flea Market and the Silk Market, we brought sunscreen, sunglasses, and put our bargaining hats on. After some training on Wan Fu Jing Street, we were ready to take on the venders. At the Flea Market we had a wide variety of bargaining tactics. Colby learned various Chinese phrases such as “you look good”, and “I love you” in order to win over the hearts of the venders. However, her favorite phrase by far was “Tai guile!” which translates to “Too much!”. Matt proved to be the winner at the market after buying a full-size sword. We have yet to find out if it will get through customs, though. My favorite part of the Flea Market was the full size replicas of the Terracotta Warriors. Charlotte said that her Dad wanted her to bring one home, but after attempting to pick it up, she settled on a picture instead.
After a nice lunch, we headed over to the Silk Street market, which was thankfully in-doors and air-conditioned; a much needed change from the near 100º weather. With a whopping 2.5 hours to spend, we all went our separate ways and began to bargain for clothing, jewelry, toys, electronics, and many, many other random things. I have dubbed Hadley the most hated by the venders. She doesn’t buy a product for more than 20% of the asking price, and walks away if she doesn’t get the price she wants. Fun fact: Walking away will get you what you want (I plan to use that tactic when I get home, Mom & Dad).
I have a warning for the families: expect lots and lots of random, pointless gifts. It’s getting to the point where we are buying things just for the sake of bargaining. Luckily, I have a rather large suitcase, so I will be able to fit in all of my gifts for my friends, family, extended family, teachers, pets, and classmates. I am glad I ignored my mom’s request to use a smaller suitcase, although Matt has asked me to put his sword in my bag already, because of the extra room. Finally we concluded our last day in Beijing with “Beijing duck” at restaurant located near the train station.
Following dinner, we all hopped on a nice air-conditioned, train to Xi’an… or at least that’s what we thought we would be doing. Immediately as we boarded the train we were all shocked by the scorching temperatures, a combination of 90 degree weather outside mixed inside a metal oven (the train). As the panic began, after a half hour of sweating, we soon began to cool down, it was a hoax, the train just had to startup. So at last within the hour we left the station and shortly after we almost all fast asleep and we were on our way to Xi’an. – Nick & Brandon