Shopping in Beijing

On our last Saturday of March, we decided to go shopping in neighboring Beijing.  This was the first time the four of us have been to China’s capital as a family.  We hired a driver to take us up to BJ, and the fun started soon after we left the city limits of Tianjin.  Apparently Grace does a better job on long train rides as opposed to long car rides ’cause she blew some major chunkage during the morning ride.  Fortunately Megan packed some extra clothes for Grace and not too much spillage flowed onto Megan’s clothes.  A slight aroma lingered in the air after we cleaned up the mess, but we certainly smell worse smells changing Grace’s diapers.  When we arrived in Beijing we visited three shopping meccas – Panjiayuan Jiuhou Shichang (the Dirt Market), Hongqiao Market (the Pearl Market), and Xiushui Shichang (Silk Alley).  Panjiayuan Jiuhuo Shichang is a very cool place.  A whole assortment of goodies can be found here – wooden chests, Tibetan carpets, reproductions of 1920s cigarette ads, Mao alarm clocks, ceramics, and more.  Hongqiao Market and Xiushui Shichang are totally different shopping experiences.  Vendors here sell not so authentic goods such as Gap, Northface, and Prada.  It is not uncommon for the salespeople to grab your arm and pay you a compliment of some kind that is also not always so authentic.  Why do we come here then?  We can find products that are relatively inexpensive that makes others happy which makes us happy.  As the day wore on, my body became sore due to all the walking and carrying I had to do.  At least the exercise makes up for the lack of weight training in my life now.  I think the highlight of our day was eating dinner at my former employer, Subway Sandwiches.  Can we say roasted BMT?  Yum, yum to the tum, tum.  We can’t find those in Tianjin.  On top of that, my sandwich was free due to all those little stamps they give you when you make purchases there.  That’s what I"m talking about.  All in all, it was another great day in the life of the Wickershams.
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