27 Aug


Hong Kong is the reputed shopping mecca of the world, and people wonder what you’ve been doing there if you didn’t experience the commercial frenzy that describes HK best. But actually, the best deals can be found across the border in Shenzhen, which is where I went yesterday.

Oh. My. God. Going with my three aunts gave “shopping” a new definition entirely. They were lionesses on the prowl. Like sharks with mad bargaining skillz. Wielding a ten-foot price machete. My aunts are the type feared by most shop owners, as they will push it the lowest it can go, and then push it even lower. Almost made a few shopkeepers cry. In fact, some seemed to give us low prices out of sheer respect. It was like a game, really. Towards the end of the night, amidst a negotiation, my aunts and the shopkeeper burst out in a fit of giggles because of how ridiculously stubborn my aunt was. The trick is to be able to walk away from anything you are bargaining for. The shopkeeper came after us 100% of the time and dragged us back to their shop, but only when they realized we really wouldn’t come back.

Let’s be honest though, I’m a little bit– no, absolutely and completely appalled by the amount I brought back.

Sometime in the afternoon, a fight broke out between two women at a bed covers shop. They were screaming and pushing each other, and an entire intersection of the mall was jammed up with crowds of people watching the rather ridiculous brawl. A security guard arrived at the scene and stood around uselessly, looking a bit intimidated by these screaming elders. A second one broke out at the restaurant later that night, which involved a lot of yelling. I’ve never seen so many public conflicts in my life.


I shouldn’t even start. How 4 women can eat so much is beyond me. Last night, we ordered a tofu dish, spare ribs, 2 vegetable dishes, 1 fried fish dish, 1 chicken and 2 desserts. And Chinese people eat everything. There’s no such thing as wasting food, even if you’re about to burst. And indeed, we ate everything. Oh, and it was so scrumptious.

The Specs

Best Bargain: Y680 lowered to Y200 in two minutes.

Two public fights.

7 hours.

Dim sum for lunch, 8 dishes of food for dinner.

6 dresses
3 belts                                                      All for less than
2 purses                         =                      a single pair of glasses
7 bras                                                      that I purchased in Madison.
4 underwear

*Sorry I don’t have pictures!


3 Responses to “Shenzhen”

  1. big D and lil' evo August 28, 2009 at 1:53 am #

    haha, that was really well written and funny. 2 purses? what a girly girl you turn into when you go shopping with your aunts! i’m going to get to hong kong and you’ll be wearing some of those 4 inch heels to, huh? 😛 hehehe. and that’s awesome, about the fighting. we need to go to this mall just so i can see some shoppers fight over bedroom attire. actually, i kind of want to get in a fist fight with someone in a mall while we’re in china. would you mind? as long as i dont get kicked out. of the country. It’s funny watching the foreigners here try to haggle in stores, the ones who have been here long, it just doesn’t even compare or come close to when you go out to get something with a chinese student. i mean the foreigners here, they try, but it just makes me laugh. hopefully ill get to experience the mighty bargaining power of your aunts at some point?

    • Isabella August 28, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

      You’ll definitely get kicked out of the country or held in some kind of detention, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

    • Isabella August 28, 2009 at 8:19 pm #

      I don’t think young people can bargain very well because they don’t command respect that comes with age. You also have to go shopping often to know what the prices should be in the first place. And finally, you have to know how to talk and not offend.

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