I forgot, when I suggested that Ping-Ping buy things that fit her here in Chnam what shopping in China is like. Shopping, too, is different:
The shopping spaces...the word store does not apply...are like wide warehouse areas that are several floors high and connected by escalators. These spaces are filled with little booths maybe five or six feet wide and eight or ten feet deep. Each booth has stuff to sell. Shirts and jackets. Or bras and panties. Or shoes and pants. Lots of stuff, close together with very little inventory. In other words, very little choice of size. (Luckily, most shoppers are pretty close in size.)
These stalls are very close together. You have to push through a constant stream of people. Everyone moves by everything very fast, and it is hard to guess how they ever seen anything they want to buy. And the stalls have the same stuff over and over, so bras, shoes, pants, shirts, shoes, bras, etc.
The picky princess seems to find less she likes here than at home. She moves by everything very quickly. When she does buy something, though, it often happens so quickly that I miss it!
Something funny happened to me. Walking along through the forest of goods, it suddenly struck me that I could buy something for me. It was a novel thought! I never shop for me. I looked around is amazement for about five minutes until I realized the problem. Nothing there would fit me. Sure enough, later, when I mentioned I liked a shirt with a wolf on it, the lady told us she did not have it in hen da...very big. (For those of you who do not know me, I am under 5'3"...but I'm heavy by the Chinese standard.)
My daughter turns out to be a bartering queen. Yesterday, Ping-Ping saw a long sleeved t-shirt she thought Orville might like. She talked to me about it and I asked the price. The woman said 68...about $12 (would have been 10 when we were here, but the exchange rate went down.)
Folks...good quality long sleeved T-shirt like might sell at an sf convention for $25 to $35. It was a steal.
We went to an Italian restaurant for lunch. It was as Italian as Chinese food in America is Chinese. The pizza and noodles had toppings such as duck and squid. The food was good and I liked the drink machine.
After shopping, shopping, and more shopping, we got in yet a third taxi to go to dinner. It let us off in the middle of nowhere at what looked like an abandoned exit. We walked into what looked like the bad section of town...but everything looks like that here...a bit run down. Goods lay on the sidewalk that one only sees at home in National Geographic (or occasionally at the Asian grocery store where my daughter shops.)
Turns out, we were going to the restauranat owned by the family of the sweet boyfriend of the Incomarable YiYi. It was ramshackled, like everything else. Our pink table cloth had a large rip. But, boy, was the food good! It was, again, the thing where you throw raw stuff into boiling water and eat it with this wonderful ginger mix.
Off for more shopping!