Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our First day in China -- Excursion 4 - The Pearl Market

Directly across the street from the Temple of Heaven is the famed pearl market. It is 5 stories of booths (kiosk style) with people selling their wares. It is not all pearls. It is electronics, purses, scarves, clothes, and more. They say, "Hey pretty lady, you wanna purse???" and then they whisper "coach???" they actually grab you and pull you into their stores. The call you friend. They never speak a price they just type it on a calculator. Our flight attendant advised that if you pay higher than 1/4 of their original price then you are probably overpaying.

Then you start haggling. It is fun and honestly a little stressful. It is high pressure sales to the Nth degree. Trent and I had a lot of fun. I have never done so much mental math in my life. They give you a price in RMB's. I would quickly divide by four and then offer back a price lower than 1/4 of the starting price. They would say, "oh no, NEVER!" and they would come back with another. I would hold steady at my price and then for the next 10 minutes we would go back and forth and back and forth. Sometimes you would walk away and they would grab you back. They always are trying to get you up from where you are and once you give a little then they usually make a deal.

We got some fun souvenirs. I was too busy haggling to take photos. But if you go to Beijing and don't go to the pearl market then you are really missing out on some fun stuff!

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