The display at the checkout didn’t work. The lady didn’t even try to tell me the prize in Chinese, just took a pencil and wrote it wordlessly on the back of an old receipt: 109,8 Yuan. I would have understood that.
We were looking for flashcards but couldn’t find any. The Chinese don’t seem to know them. And on our first day all the shops had closed at 6 pm, even the Foreign Language Bookstore where we wanted to get preprinted ones. But I found something else in another bookstore:
Did you know that Giant Pandas usually don’t feel carsick?
I needed cheap shoes to wear with a suit very fast. The shop was on my way home. I’ve never bought shoes that quickly, didn’t even try to bargain. Maybe that’s why he called me “pengyou”, friend, when I left. I didn’t understand much of the other things he said.
Everyone always tries to sell you something. The sellers walk around like anyone else and then attack you. Especially if you’re a foreigner. Do foreigners buy watches and bags every other day? It’s been unpleasant on Nanjing Road but unbearable in and around the City Gold Temple.
At first I countered the permanent “watches, bags, t-shirts, …” touting by showing my watch with a “look, I already have a great watch” but then realized that there has to be a better way to get rid of them. So I bought the card they’re always showing from one of the vendors and the next time someone approached me I did the same with him. Didn’t really work but at least it was great fun.
“Temple”, an interesting expression. I’d rather call it shopping mall or tourist center. Not the kind of thing I need. I don’t like it when everyone tries to sell me something. I prefer having a look and then talking to someone if I need help. No “here T-Shirt” or “very nice”. And – same thing in the supermarkets – everyone’s always pointing at some random thing as if it was the newest, greatest, best.