Day 2 of our adventures involved a visit to the Panjiayuan Antique/Junk/Wholesale market. I loved it.
It was MASSIVE, crowed and full of stuff. And it kept going, and going, and going. It’s divided by zone for stone, metal wares (statues and such), pottery, stone statues, fabrics, furniture, gems, books, and God knows what else. Bargaining was required and Aunt Mac soon became a pro at it picking up a few treats friends and family back home.
The best was we saw one stall selling very nice and unique tassels. These were about 12″ long and had different types of decorative charms attached to them. She wanted to get 4 or 5 of them and so we talked to the shop girl and thru the calculator on our phone we bargained for a price. But the price the girl was giving was quite high. So in the end, we had to walk away from them. We continued to shop around the market and found a few things that we wanted. But near the end Aunt Mac was still thinking about those tassels. We said, just do it, we won’t be back this way so go ahead and get them. We went back and there was a guy there this time. We collected the tassels we wanted and asked him the price. His was about 1/2 what the girl had told us! Out the corner of my eye I saw the girl starting to come out and immediately said we’ll take them! Just then she came up and spoke some words in Chinese to the man while gesturing at us… too late, his new deal was done and Aunt Mac had her tassels. ha!
After we walked the market for a very long time, we thought we would take the other exit, well, turns out on the other side is a whole different section! This side was more like a flea market with people selling stuff out laid out on blankets. So of course we had to explore that some more 🙂 I ended up finding a great carved head of the Goddess of Mercy that’s about 15″ tall. Of course it’s all cash there and I was out of money. Fear not. Even though the nice lady who sold me the head could not speak English, she knew my problem (I showed her my empty wallet and said ATM?) she grabbed my arm and escorted me to the ATM while I pulled out cash to pay for my new find. She also got to make sure I did not change my mind 🙂
Aunt Mac also got here first introduction to Chinese public toilets….
We visited a huge marked where we got in the spirit of bargaining. That was totally expected and by the time we were ready to go we had gotten pretty good – except for Ryan – he overspent on 1 item. LOL
It was there that I was introduced to the public toilets. WOW No doors on the stalls which were just over waist high, no toilet paper and no TOILETS – just a hole in the ground and was at least covered with porcelain or stainless steel. See I told you there were sights to see!
Well, the good news is there are a lot of public toilets around the city….The bad news as she notes above is that the stalls can be a bit tough at times. Of course for guys it’s a bit easier most of the time, but for the ladies….Well, Aunt Mac is a trooper she handled it like a pro and in fact most likely better that I could have if I had to squat at at stall with no doors!!
But, all in all, a great day at the market looking at all the treats on display and having some fun haggling for souvenirs.