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I’m not sure to be disappointed (time has gone too fast ) or satisfied (great memories along the way) to reach mid-trip of my journey in China. Definitely, satisfied; China has been an incredible experience. Our study abroad group finally traveled to the great renown city of Beijing (30 mins by bullet train). We were determined to try it all from food, temples, landmarks, and of course, shopping.

Street food entrance : Can’t rotate picture 🙁

My first favorite spot was… you guessed it… Street food! But it’s not normal street food like a cart located by a corner. It’s an actual full lane street filled with unique foods known from all around China. Let me tell you, I was hungry, but the foods I saw there were not exactly my cup of tea. After walking down back and forth I settled with two sticks filled with tasty meat (I think it was cow meat, hopefully not dog or cat…lol). There was live scorpions (scorpion stinger tail still attached) and cooked crickets available for the brave. Yeah… I was not that brave…

During the day we traveled to various locations, one was ” Temple of Heaven ” which had very interesting history of sacrifices. ( Picture below )

The final location we stopped by was a famous inside market (Above) where you negotiate prices for the item you’re interested in (think of a flea market but inside like a mall). You can find clothes, hats, jewelry, watches, electronics, food, tourist souvenirs, and shoes. I came for shoes, that was my mission. Before entering, you must mentally prepare yourself for what’s to come. Ohh…pop an Advil (headaches to come), hold your phone tight (Phone AliPay is form of payment), and prepare for battle. Step in, and right away your forehead is stamped “Foreigner” and “$”. Second step, you get the first salespersons’ random “Hey, wanna buy Gucci belt”, “Buy handbag, good price” (fake Gucci of course). I don’t wear Gucci belts or use handbags.

I sped through to the next floors until I finally arrived at the shoe section. I was ready, determined to walk out with sneakers for a steal. I entered my first shoe shop, and I locked my eyes on a pair of Adidas Ultra Boost (black and white). The salesperson immediately goes for the kill, “Yes, nice sneakers, I give special discount because you my friend” — exact words. I was like Girl, let’s find out if we “friends?”, so I reply “how much?” (Background knowledge: I research the original price before stepping into the shop to know what price is acceptable, price for those shoes are $150~). Her first price is 800 rmb ($119), so I looked at her eye to eye and said “I thought we were friends,” and she replies ” ok,ok, 700 rmb, very comfortable shoes” ($104). I reply “That’s too high, I want to buy these shoes today but not for that much, what’s your final offer?”; she replies “550 rmb” ($82). I say “Thanks, but no thank you,” and start stepping out of the shop and her true colors show “300 rmb” ($45). I ignored her, and while I walked away, I hear her calling me “CRAZY.” Short story short, I came to find the exact pair three shops after for 150 rmb ($22) and a lot dirty looks (if looks can kill).

As always thanks for reading. Pass by later for the final experiences I’ve encountered in China on my last post.

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