The Crazy Market

There is a place here in Beijing that I (not so) affectionately call The Crazy Market. Imagine four floors of wall to wall shops, one shop selling the same thing that 15 other shops are selling, all displayed with bright colors and lights and each shop having two or three people who call out
"Hello! What are you looking for?"
"Hello! We give you good price!"
"Hello! How many coats you want buy?"
"Hello! We have your size shoe!" (This one makes me want to stop and say "Oh, I greatly doubt it.")
"Hello! Nice pearls for you!"
If you so much as look at an item, it is immediately assumed that you will buy it and so they call out "What is your highest price? We give you good discount."

The only exception to this is the very bottom floor that is filled with every imaginable and unimagineable sea creature and various sea creature parts in various stages of life. This serves as a good aroma which frequently makes its way up to the other floors.

Now if you happen to remember, there is a man on this trip with me who, for some reason, is easy prey for every hawker within calling distance.

He and I were at the store at the same time on Sunday, but we had not seen each other until I walked around a corner and saw a woman pulling him over to her stall regardless of his polite "No, thank you". I walked right up, grabbed his hand and pulled him away saying "Come with me."

I know, I know, maybe a little over the top, but he said that it was like having a big sister and later wished that it had been caught on video tape for entertainment value.

Yesterday he returned to the Crazy Market and, surprise, surprise, was again physically pulled towards a stall. This time, however, he just stood there, looked down at her and said "You don't EVEN want to know what my little sister would do to you." The woman stopped, looked at him, and let go.

I wish that had been caught on video tape. I like to know that just the mention of me scares away unruly salespeople.


I just want to encourage you to keep posting. I am really enjoying your adventures.
caedmonstia said…
Oh dear, my sister has taken to grabbing men's hands in public places! Watch out for that she's-just-like-a-sister-to-me trick! I know that one. ;)
slowlane said…
This man is a grandfather... one of those grandpas who seem like their entire life has been leading up to being a grandpa.
Cheryl said…
Don't know how I found your blog- probably linked from another I liked. I'm just a stranger who came to visit. Wanted to tell you I truly enjoy your writing, and will be back for more vicarious traveling. :)
slowlane said…
I'm glad you stumbled across my blog, Cheryl. Unfortunately, it appears that I will not have to use my passport for at least a few months. Hopefully my life in the slow lane won't bore you.