Trip Start Mar 14, 2008
20Trip End Mar 31, 2008
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Where I stayed
We bought the train tickets and went dtown to the platform. We got on the overcrowded train, just managing to squeeze through the door. It was so squishy, but we made sure that we wore our bags on our front so that nobody could grab anything from our bags. We managed to get to the right station, feeling quite proud of ourselves. It really doesn't take much to boost our egos! We reached the silk market and as soon as we walked through the door, we were grabbed from everywhere; "Oh, pretty lady, come have a look", "oh, beautiful girls"...talk about ego boosting!(Twice in a day). We went to a shop where we bought ski jackets from last time and we recognised the saleslady...and to our surprise, she recognised us, too! "Last year, you come to my shop, you nearly kill me! But I still like you" she remembered our good bargaining. She asked where our dad was, and we assured her that he was coming next week and would surely 'kill her' again! We bought some new ski jackets and bargained her down from 800 yuan for one to 500 yuan for 2. We are getting really good at this! We browsed the shops, but we made sure that we stayed clear of ladies handbags, as those salespeople are vicious! They would physically grab you and drag you into their shops!
We walked around, conversing with the locals in Chinese and bargaining in Chinese. I received many compliments for my 'wonderful speaking' and were surprised when I said that I didn't live and study in China. I felt so proud that my years of attending Saturday morning school are finally paying off. I had many conversations with the shopkeepers about life in Australia and having three younger sisters (something completely foreign to them). Elyse, Hayley and Laura spoke a lot of Chinese as well, which surprised them even more. Elyse and Hayley earned a reputation with the shopkeepers for being hard bargainers and one saleslady asked if they could work for her! Elyse's cheek got stroked and her head got patted so many times that I'm surprised that she didn't get dizzy. Oh, the downfalls of being cute,blonde and little in this country!
We finished our shopping, exhausted. Whoever said that shopping is not exercise did not lug around heaps of full-to-the-brim bags!
We ate McDonalds for lunch...we supposed that we should spoil ourselves. We met this lovely couple who spoke to us in Chinese, and helped Laura, Hayley and Elyse translate their names into chinese. They bought us back to their art studio and took the time to show us all their paintings and the meanings behind them. They showed what makes up a Chinese character. Take the word 'love', which is in my name, "Aimei", it has the symbol of a family, a friend and a heart in it, which means 'love your friends and family with all your heart.'
We left with our names written in calligraphy in chinese on a scroll. It looks wonderful!
We took the train back home, pretty satisfied with our day. We swam in the pool in the hotel and ate dinner in our room. What we're really looking forward to is school tomorrow and presenting them with our presents from Jason Wood. I can't wait to tell you all about it!