Category Archives: Markets

Does subtotal=total?

Today I was at the convenient store buying water and there was a waiguo ren(American) standing in front of me. I noticed he was asking the clerk for his fa piao. The 2 clerks behind the counter instead acted as if they did not heard him and turned their backs on him while counting their money. The guy and his 5 year old boy were standing there furious for 5 minutes and they still didn’t give him his fapiao or acknowledge him at all. After getting no response from them, he turned and looked at me. Trying to reassure him, I said, “This happens all the time!” He was confused and asked why??? Then came to the conclusion that they were being dishonest, he yelled, ” Bu Chengshi”!

Then I noticed that they only rang me up as a subtotal and not actually total!

Is no system a system in China? Has this happened to you before?

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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Markets, Uncategorized


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Wild Wild West! Xian

When we think of wild wild west we usually think of cowboys and horses and standoffs, but in Asia the wild wild west is a land full of minority tribes, wild pandas, white hairy yaks, gorges and abundantly rich soil. Just a few months ago, I decide to take a solo adventure to different parts of China. I asked some local coworkers where the “must see” places were and they mentioned Dalian, Xian, Sichuan and Yunnan. I decided to go in November so it was starting to get chilly and the weather brought me west to venture into the wild wild west! The first place I flew into was Xian. This small little city was surround by a stone wall, a little bit like the great wall of China which you can only imagine seeing in the movies. It seemed like a city of kings and riches who had their palace and city protected by the great wall. It was a place full of history and is one of the oldest cities in China, over 3000 years old. I stayed there for 3 days and stayed at a little 3 star gem hotel called Lemon Hotel which was conveniently placed right in the middle of town. It was about 15-20 minutes walking distance from the popular food street downtown and the bell and drum tower and was easy access for taxis to pick you up to further places like the terra cotta soldiers. I woke up early around 9 the next day and went on a tour around Xian(arranged by the hotel, 500rmb from 9am-6pm for full day private driver). The next morning, I went to see the well known terracotta soldiers which was about an hour and a half ride from the city and upon arrival there were numerous local tour guides who were available to give tours. My driver helped me find someone who knew some english and we went our our merry way! Just being there was amazing and I could imagine myself being there when they buried these delicate regal soldiers. They created and buried these soldiers for the Qin Emperor in 210 BC when he died to protect him in the afterlife. There were 3 giant pits with over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. I spent about 2-3 hours gazing and admiring at these historical figures that were buried and when I went into the museum afterwards I was lucky to be able to meet the guy who found the soldiers! He was an old man selling one of the books he wrote on the discovery and was signing away. Amazing enough, this story is of a poor farmer who was in his 50’s when he found the terracotta soldiers while digging in the well some 40 years ago. And now, he has become a rich old farmer who writes books and meets his fans. I guess miracles do happen:) Afterwards, we drove back to the city and bought these delicious red/orange persimmons on our way back from the side of the road. From what I remember, they were only a few dollars for a whole box of juicy fresh grown persimmons and boy were they good! When we went back, I dozed off a bit in the cab and my top notch driver dropped me back  to the hotel for a little R&R. A few hours later, he came back and took me on a walking tour downtown to see the rest of the sights. We went to the bell and drum tower which was beautifully lit up from the night lights and then went to splurge in the food market street with delicious small eats all around. In a lit up street with friendly smiling faces, muslim po(nan in soup) and flavorful coconut desserts, I felt like I was a little kid in candy store! I even got to meet some other people from Beijing at the muslim soup place which became my touring friends for the next few days! We went to see the Giant pagoda and relaxed at some local bar which was playing chinese guitar music. This was by far, my favorite city to visit, I had even considered living there for about 2 secs:) Loved it!

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Please read on and continue with me through my journey further west! Enjoy:)

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Posted by on March 18, 2013 in Markets, Travel


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Shanghai Cai Chang

Today, one of my local friends brought me to the neighborhood Food Market “Cai Chang” on Tangjiawan Lu and  Zhaozhou Lu. Crowded with many local consumers, you can use literally pennies and coins to buy what your heart desires. From colorful vegetables, to hairy crabs, to hanging meat, to fresh swimming fish and pig knuckles!

Although, this experience is definitely not the “Safeway/Wholefoods” experience with the organized checkout counters and friendly staffs helping each and everyone of your needs. On contrary, there’s a bit of a mosh pot feel to Shanghai grocery shopping with the intention of getting everything you need to make for dinner while squeezing through crowds and ducking from fists to stray away from pushy, aggressive consumers:)

Honestly, I would have been a bit scared if I went there alone as you could have probably found me squeezed into a dark corner trying to buy some tomatoes, but luckily I was accompanied by someone who knew what was going on.  I guess that’s Shanghai for ya! 🙂

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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Food, Markets


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Bird and flower market

Bird and flower market

Today was a visit to the usual nearby bird and flower market to buy these tiny fish for my turtle. I usually visit here about once every three weeks to buy fish for my pet turtle, Xiao Wu Guai.

As usual, this market is not especially known for its cleanliness however you can almost find anything living here. From crickets, to kittens, to half living dogs, to fish, to rabbits, chinchillas and turtles and many more critters.

If you happen to go visit, make sure to go before dusk as once the sun goes down the gates to this little animal kingdom will be closed. Happy Shopping!

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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Markets


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