Sunday, February 7, 2010

Shopping day

We went with our group today to do a shopping tour and visit the pearl market.  I kept thinking our guide was saying "market for the poor" but she was actually saying market for the pearl.  Ha, little bit lost in translation and accent I guess.
The pearl market was a 6 story building with over 100 stores selling all kinds of jewelry but many of them sold pearls.  You could hand-pick your pearls and have them strung or pick a string of pearls and they would put the clasp on it.  The store we were taken to ranged from $50 to $180 a strand (necklace size) depending on the quality.  They showed us how to determine real pearls from fake ones.  I lasted less than 5 minutes in the store before I told Jeramie to get me out.  I don't like pearls.   I know many people would love to be standing in a pearl store in China so I really tried to embrace it on behalf of everyone who can't be here but it just didn't work.  I obviously did not buy any pearls.
I did find some beaded necklaces and bracelets that were much more my style but after 4 shop owners refused to acknowledge me I got pissy and walked out.  Usually we are hounded to death to buy something but this time I stood there and they wouldn't even look at me.  So then we went over to the clothing market building but it was more like a shopping mall than a market so we didn't stay there long either.  I'm really sick of people interrogating Claire about us being her parents.  One person was asking her something about "mama" and then Claire stepped behind my legs so I got rude with the lady.  I asked her "what did you say to her?" and she acted like she didn't speak English.  Then I purposely ran her over when backing out of the store and said "sorry, Oh- dway boo chee" (I'm sorry/ excuse me in Chinese) and the two girls looked stunned that I spoke some Chinese.  I was so mad. 
I'm tired of the stares.
I'm tired of people talking to her.
I'm tired of not knowing what they are saying to her.
I'm just tired and ready to come home.
We ate lunch at the market and then took a taxi back to the hotel because we stayed later than the group.  This afternoon we browsed the shops in the hotel and then a few on the island as well.  I finally bought a few things but we are still disappointed that we didn't buy more in Beijing.  We didn't realize that some of that stuff was only available in Beijing when we passed it up.  We didn't want to buy a lot of stuff the first three days because we had a lot of time left on our trip to see things we liked even better.  Well, we're really kicking ourselves now.  We did get Claire two more Chinese dresses in bigger sizes so that she can have one every couple of years and I also found a tea set for her that I'm going to save for her 16th or 18th birthday. 
Claire's arms are very sore after her shots yesterday and she reminds us of it often.  She just bumped her arm a little bit ago and really cried so they must hurt pretty bad.  I've given her Tylenol around the clock and for the most part she is still her happy self but I do think she is running a low fever.
Tonight we are joining others in our group and going to a Chinese restaurant with our guide.  The people here are Cantonese and our guide joked that they eat everything that flies except the airplanes and everything in water except that boat.  They eat EVERYTHING.  This should be interesting.

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