How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

Shanghai, Day 10, Part 3 – The Old Bazaar and More

106 Comments


Chinese Saying

Keep your belongings in front of you. What’s in front belongs to you; what’s behind, belongs to someone else.

~ * ~

Whenever we left or entered the bus, our tour guides reminded us to check our personal belongings. At first I felt we were being treated like children, but soon realized how easy it is to become engrossed while surrounded by the distractions of China.

OLD SHANGHAI BAZAAR

What luck! Once again, we were given time on our own to explore. After the splendor of the financial district (The Bund), some of our group discovered another world a short distance away.  These are the real people we had little occasion to see. I thank RJ for sharing these wonderful pictures.

More day to day scenes:

THE RITZIER BAZAAR 

While some explored the vibrant open market, others followed Jackie to a more upscale sector where anything from floral teas to pearls, jade, cameras, clothes, emporiums and brand name, best-quality knock-offs were secreted. One adventurous couple in our group was interested in what was on offer. I had no interest in shopping but decided to tag along. Led through masses of humanity, avoiding elbows and bodies, we entered an alley, and a short path to a nondescript door. Jackie must have knocked to gain entry, but I don’t recall. Before he did though, he made sure we were comfortable in finding our way back to the group’s meeting place, and disappeared.

© All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of RJ, a member of English 8.

© All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of RJ, a member of English 8.

We entered, were sized up, and asked what was needed. This undertaking felt clandestine. The room was small and windowless. Shelves displayed elegant purses, luggage, watches etc. Like a wolf waiting to pounce, the attendant pushed merchandise on the couple. Nothing suited. How about this? Maybe you’d like that… The room grew smaller and smothering. Eyes on the door, my nerves hummed. Escape wasn’t easy. Finally free, we spoke among ourselves. “Might as well buy a real Rolex for the price they want.”

We hadn’t proceeded farther than a few paces when a young woman dashed up from behind, promising another place; a better deal. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. We kept moving. The whole business became uncomfortable, but at last she melted into the crowd.

As everywhere else, knock-offs are illegal in China. If you are caught, off to the police station you go. Your tour group continues as scheduled and you have to find your way back to them on your own dime. Of course, you don’t get to keep your loot either.

Dinner Sunday night  

  • Tomato soup with egg
  • Rice with egg
  • Lightly breaded white fish
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Greens
  • Eggplant in sauce
  • Beef in sauce
  • Sliced curry potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Sweet and sour chicken
  • Watermelon slices

SHANGHAI QUICK FACTS:

  • Home of the (open air) Bird’s Nest, capacity 80,000
  • Popular sports: ping pong, table tennis, basketball and soccer
  • World Financial Centre, 2nd tallest in the world
  • Houses used to cost $1,000 / square foot; now up to $5,000 / square foot
  • Kindergarten parents pay about $1,000 per month
  • School free grades 1 to 9
  • Live-in maid service pays $1,000 per month
  • Twice-a-week service pays $10. per hour

~ * ~

Next on October 31, Shanghai, Day 11, Part 4: Silk Factory and More

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2014 All Right Reserved TAK

Advertisements

Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

106 thoughts on “Shanghai, Day 10, Part 3 – The Old Bazaar and More

  1. An adventure of a lifetime. We live is an amazingly diverse world. Travel allows us to explore new possibilities.

    Like

  2. There’s Canal St, then there’s China! I think I’d find all the knock-offs worthy of anger…the Chinese have so many talents and creative minds…why not put them to good use instead of copying?

    Like

  3. Am certainly enjoying your travelogues as well as past posts. Good for you enjoying every single moment of Life’s adventure!

    Cheers, J 🙂

    Like

  4. Looks like a lot of fun, and delicious. 🙂

    Like

  5. This clandestine stuff would really make me uncomfortable. I know there are people who get a thrill from the “steal” at a great price. I’m not one of them if there is a stink attached 🙂

    Like

  6. It sounds like a lot of shopping was done. Did that bother you? Or was it just the right amount? It’s hard to tell from this distance. I would want SOME stuff, but not a lot. Mostly, I’d be intrigued by the cultural differences.

    I am so enjoying your virtual tour!

    Like

  7. I love that you got to see the real people.

    Like

  8. All that pushing and shoving brings to mind, rather uncomfortably, another meaning of the word, Shanghia……I think you all were very brave to follow these people but…..I’d have stayed out in the open and bought the knockoffs back in Canada….

    Like

    • The mid-70s couple I tagged along with were simply looking for a different shopping experience. It was more curiosity, but then again I didn’t know them. Just my take, and since I wasn’t interesting in buying ‘stuff’ I didn’t need, I went along for the experience, the adventure. Who knew it would get so pushy.

      Like

  9. I’m so uncomfortable when vendors try to sell me their wares, especially in touristy areas where they bombard us with sales pitches. I suppose it’s the whole introvert thing. I like to be left alone to browse. When that doesn’t happen, I walk away. They don’t realize if they really want a sale, they’re better off leaving me alone!

    Like

    • Me too, Carrie. I don’t like crowds (think Christmas at my side of the pond) and in a foreign environment. This had more to do with curiosity, something different. I didn’t NEED anything and I hate shopping just because.
      The small room, without windows didn’t help.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It always amazes me when you see things like meat just on the ground to be sold! It’s quite alien to us who are used to our food being sold in more sanitised environments! Like Carrie, I hate it when vendors try to push you to buy something, just saying no can feel so awkward – I worry about offending them even if they’re being unnecessarily pushy!

    Like

  11. i think that maybe you had too many shopping stops on this tour! I would have had a nervous breakdown!

    Like

    • Not really. Other member kept begging for opportunities to shop. This was only a two-hour window. Time enough to explore and look around. I’m not one for shopping just because. I shop when I NEED something. No use spending money to waste it.

      Like

  12. I love that Chinese saying, different cultures do open up our eyes.

    Like

  13. Makes me want to visit even more now Tess! Not sure I could buy meat that had been ‘on the floor’!

    Like

  14. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Day 10 of our journey through China with How the Cookie Crumbles – or how the plates of Chinese food served for dinner are cleared… I have enjoyed this vicarious trip through this still quite unknown land and look forward to each week’s instalment.

    Like

  15. Are those eels in the fourth pic????

    Like

  16. The hygiene has little to be desired. Meat unrefrigerated, live animals, waiting to be slaughtered, tourists waiting to be set upon. I don’t mind the bargaining to a certain extent, but when they start to smother, that’s when it gets annoying. Looking at the menu, they certainly like their eggs! x

    Like

  17. It’s amazing the diversity just within “blocks”. Not to mention the diversity of their meals???? Though it only seems diverse compared to what ‘our’ meals would be I suppose.

    I’m going to be very sad when this trip ends. You will have to go on another one!

    Like

    • 😀 😀 😀
      This is only day 10, I have 14 more to go. The first ten days have taken five months. Gives me lots of time to plan another trip, but where? I have no idea and with so much unrest on this planet, I shake my head but am itching for another adventure already.

      Like

      • I am so itching to go on a long road trip. No flying required. There is just SO much to see in our own countries. I’m up for it.

        And I’m glad we aren’t going to see the end of this trip any time soon!

        Like

  18. I love how you describe the claustrophobia of the shop and your rising panic at the pressure you were feeling to buy something. I felt like that in the Caribbean, everywhere we went we were confronted with people trying to sell their wares and they are darn good at not letting you get away. Love the pics, how kind of your friend to share them here. What an amazing contrast with the old and the new. Another wonderful post Tess, and I STILL can’t get over how much you did 🙂

    Like

  19. Another great day in your adventure 🙂

    Like

  20. Wow Tess — another amazing travel log. I have to admit those first few photos would have been way outside my comfort zone — you are a true adventurer! (Appreciating the safety of my sofa!) But your gift is making me feel like i was actually there and you do that so very well. It truly is an extraordinary country, and i sincerely appreciate getting to visit it virtually through your posts. Huge hugs! ❤

    Like

  21. Don’t you love the architecture? I do, it is fascinating and fabulous. The warning, this could be given anywhere and everywhere. The dinner looked and sounded fabulous. I so love following your adventure!!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Tess those ope market photos from your friend are something. All those chicken parts on a cloth on the ground. Yikes. You have a good way of explaining the crush of people wanting to sell things while traveling. One just has to often keep walking and not be overwhelmed by the experience. Not always easy.

    Like

    • It’s those imploring eyes that did it to me. I felt guilty not helping them to make their living. I was strong, however, because I cannot spend money for something I don’t need. At this stage of my life I’m trying to purge not surge… 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  23. The menu sounds good this time, although not if it had been bought from the ground in the market!

    Like

  24. Great tour, thanks for taking us with you. I remember having that sales experience in Morocco – being dropped off by a guide in a carpet shop and badgered into buying something (I resisted but my friends didn’t) – I remember that feeling of being hemmed in and under pressure 🙂

    Like

  25. I don’t like pressure when shopping either although I understand that couple’s interest in seeing something different…And still more adventures to come! You indeed kept busy!

    Like

  26. Wooooooooo Just wooooooooooo ❤

    Like

  27. I think I may have lost my appetite for the entire week.

    Like

  28. What an extraordinary adventure this must have been, Tess! How did it come about? Had you always planned to visit China, thus making it a dream come true? Did you go with a large group of friends?

    Like

    • I hadn’t traveled in almost 20 years. Had no yen. A friend of mine complained over coffee that her regular travel girlfriend hadn’t been up for traveling and she, the friend, was getting antsy. “Where do you want to go?” I asked.
      “Australia.”
      I heard a little voice say, “I’ll go with you.” W.h.a.t.?
      When we checked flights, the China trip was advertised in the paper and at 1/3 the price of Australia, we checked it out. It ended up being a valuable trip dollar-wise. I’m amazed I went and am not sorry for taking the plunge. 😀

      Like

  29. It never ceases to amazing me how some countries can have such a division between the rich and the poor. With this said however, it’s getting to be more and more like that all over the world.

    Like

  30. I’m enjoying your trip almost as much as you are. Keep up the posts; they are amazingly educational for those of us unable to travel.

    Like

  31. I am enjoying your trip article,real street photos and what a wonderful adventure ! Have a great trip! 🙂

    Like

  32. 1000 a square foot? Even 5000? Wow they must have culture shock when they buy here! 🙂

    Like

  33. I hate the whole bazaar experience. It’s something I never got used to during our time in Turkey. And It was totally counter-productive as I would never buy anything from someone who hassled me no matter how much of a bargain it appeared to be (not that it was was most of the time, anyway). I’d rather pick up something with a meaningful guarantee!

    Like

  34. Shanghai is an overwhelming city. So much and so different. You’ve made a great travelogue. I’m just back from Italy so haven’t been blogging or in the world at all, but I’ll try to catch up with your trip.

    Like

  35. I’d be in big trouble if I lived in China. I ‘leave behind’ things all the time – by mistake – and then have to rush back to reclaim.
    On the other hand, I’m a very good ping pong player. 🙂 Great post – thank you!

    Like

  36. I enjoyed reading this piece of your travel here, always well written and with a good dose of humor. China seems to be an entirely different dimension from the west. If I went there I’d like to visit the beads factories… the real jade and the fake jade and so on. I bet the colours are wonderful. 🙂

    Like

    • I was shocked how many color jade actually is. Where had come up with the notion it is only green? I know you like your green and blues and most likely you know what colors can be found.The intricate carvings is what really floored me. 🙂

      Like

  37. Wonderful photos! I just loved all of them!

    I too would be very uncomfortable with the pressure to buy. I’m sure the tourists are a great business there though.

    I’m still wowed by these photos! Wow!

    Like

    • Thanks about the photos. Our travel mate, RJ, had taken lots better pictures than me. I’m an amateur.

      The experience here was quite different from Mexico where you can also negotiate, which I’m not good at. Thank goodness I didn’t need to buy anything. 🙂

      Like

  38. So nice to hear more about your trip Tess. I know the feeling when the hawkers wont take no for an answer, it does become uncomfortable.

    Like

  39. I read that the tradition of knockoffs in China is tied to the long history of preserving traditional script (as in writing), where acolytes copied from masters.

    Your experience in the high-pressure shop sounds spooky.

    Like

  40. I don’t think I’d be adventurous enough to even check out the knock-out merchandise. The penalties sound far too threatening.

    Like

  41. I love the photo of the fountain with the frogs. how unique! and of course the food. except you can’t tell what was in the empty dishes, heh. yum, yum!!

    Like

  42. Following you is only way I’ll ever get to see China.

    Like

  43. If the Chinese authorities really wanted to stop the knock-offs, they’d just have to make checks at the airport when you leave – once that was known…
    It’s hard not to feel sorry for the people trapped in the industry though.

    Like

Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s