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The night market

So maybe the title makes it sound a lot shadier than it is, but that’s what I call the collection of (probably illegal) goods’ stalls lining the road outside my flat. Walking down the road after dark, you can find a whole range of things laid out on sheets on the pavement, in no particular order: Loads of types of shoes, trolleys of hair accessories, fancy looking Chinese tea sets, jewellery, socks and underwear, make up, perfumes, phone covers, phone chargers, phone accessories, books (I was shocked to see English books like The Millennium Trilogy and Harry Potter last night!), and clothes, clothes and more clothes hanging from strings put up between the trees that line the roadside. Unfortunately, when I ask prices, as a foreigner, I’m quoted an expensive (Chinese) price. Haggling would be a lot easier if my Chinese was any good.

The street is usually bustling, with people browsing the stalls, sitting outside restaurants eating, the odd pair of older Chinese men playing some sort of Chess-looking game (I have yet to investigate their games) and…dogs. Lots of dogs. It’s not unusual at all to see about one dog every minute!! Chinese dogs, or rather – their owners, have an interesting fashion sense though!

Just tonight, as I was walking past, a group of people had gathered and were blocking the pavement. As I got closer, I could hear voices rising… An argument had broken out – a piece from a Chinese tea set was broken on the pavement. I quickly made my way past them, not wanting to get caught in the middle of a Chinese argument (I’ve witnessed a couple of these in close range, they can get nasty!), but really – what do the stall owners expect selling fragile goods on the road? I wonder how that issue was settled.

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About Ibtehaal

I graduated with a degree in Chinese and Economics, which involved spending a year studying Chinese in Beijing. This turned out to be the hardest but most rewarding thing I think I have ever done. I've now returned to China for another year, to study in Shanghai and figure out my next steps.

7 responses »

  1. salaam, again once more minhaal is here with me sharing some chit-chat
    all your experiences are weird, my god, be careful only.
    keeping you in my daily prayers.

    Reply
  2. You should learn how to play – and then teach us when you’re back! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiangqi

    Reply
    • Yep, that’s the game. Just reading the Wikipedia page is too complicated! Of course, having it explained in Beijing accent Chinese by the players themselves would be much much easier.. It is on my list, though!

      Reply
  3. Its good you learned Tai Kwondo. It may come in use to you for such arguments in the middle of the road. Loving your blog by the way. Very interesting. Enjoy the adventure 🙂

    Reply
  4. salaam, now today no one here, everytime you are experencing some challanges, different situation, will make you fit.you are in our dua!

    Reply

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