Friday, April 01, 2005

Day 2 recap.

So yesterday I went back to my room and met my new roommate, Malcolm. A Scottish Lad, Malcolm had just come in from Beijing which he called his "trial by fire". Apparently the highlands of Scotland did not prepare him for being stared at and pointed at by hundreds of people whereever he went.

Anyways, we went over to TST to take some night pics from across the river into Hong Kong. We then proceeded up to the Temple St. Night Market which should be called the Temple St. White Market based on the number of white people there. The Night Market is about 3 streets long and has little shacks on both sides of the walkway. You can buy fake watches, Zippo lighters, leather bags, jewelry, t-shirts and anything else a tourist might want to bring back home as a souvenir. The only thing that I couldn't find was a little red book. However I was informed by Malcolm that when I get to Tianamen Square I will have plenty of little red books offered to me by a crowd surrounding me as if I was Mao himself. So, Dmitry your little red book is coming. Oh yeah, I also did not see any rolexes, which surprised me. Most of the knock-off watches were CKs.

Another thing that surprised me was the negotiation style of the vendors. I don't know whether they have gotten lazy from the easy money they make at this market or if this is a cultural Chinese thing about negotiations, but I couldn't get them to scream a price at me as I was walking away. In India if you do not get the price you want you start walking away and the merchant will call out a better price. In this case the merchant starts high - 30, I ask the price again - 27, I start negotiations at 10, the merchant comes down to 25, I raise the offer to 15, the merchant shakes his head and looks away. I am walking away expecting a price of 20 to be quoted and nothing is called out to me. I feel betrayed. They refuse to play the game. I feel cheated and I haven't even bought anything.

So in the middle of the night market obviously there is a place for people to get some food. We got ourselves some Chinese Tsingtao beer. Its not bad. Its also not Chinese beer as the brewery was built by the Germans before WW1 when they had a sphere of influence in China.

After the Night Market, where I bought for myself a little carrying bag for my Karma and for my camera, we went down to the pub area in Central. I was there the day before yesterday and it was a bit empty. Yesterday night the place was full of white people. Its seems like very much a happening place, albeit with really annoying loud music. The beer prices are also rather expensive.

cheers,
BR

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