Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cai Jian Target! Ni Hao Xin Yong Zhong Xin!

Ventured into uncharted territory yesterday to visit "Xin Yong Zhong Xin" also known as "Light Industrial City". In spite of this odd name, the warehouse is crammed with of housewares. Rugs of every shape and size, painted dishes, red clay teapots, raffia slippers, heaps of baskets, teetering stacks of decorative boxes, faux shabby chic furniture, golden gilded statues, knock off Versace place settings, silk lanterns, birdcages, doll furniture, bean bags, sculptures fogging through the miracle that is dry ice, stacks of horrible oil paintings, picture frames and ceramic cats.

I was fully expecting a panic attack, but it never came.

Possibly because this place is hard to reach with public transport it wasn't excessively crowded and most of the shoppers were local people. I hadn't planned to buy anything, my thwarted attempts to bargain at "Women's World" still fresh in my mind, but I surprised myself by handling negotiations quite well. It was excellent Mandarin practice, and I even managed to make a bit of light conversation (always a good ego boost during the initial language learning stages).

I had a bit of an edge in this scenario because I actually know how much these things would cost me at Target or Ikea. So, as long as I can get it cheaper than I would pay there, I'm happy and they are happy, having made a significant margin on the silly Maiguaren. I spent about $20 American dollars and bought a nice sized rag rug, four massive red wine glasses, a pretty stainless steel bedside clock and a piece of red branch coral made of plaster. Not sure what I'll use it for, but it looks cool. Maybe a book end?

I had a dream the other night that Eric and I were on a tour bus winding our way across China and I spotted a Target store looming on the horizon. I was filled with joy and turned to Eric and said "Now we can stay here forever!"

Eric and I have talked a lot about how almost everything we buy in the States comes from China to begin with. The dilemma is the difficulty of finding these products while living here. Perhaps Chinese consumers desire different products than we do. Or perhaps Target's supply chain is a closely guarded trade secret. Either way, it is oddly difficult to find the same quality and price relationships we are used to. Which is why this crazy warehouse was such a happy discovery. I have a feeling I'll be paying many more visits there, rooting through piles, my devotion to Target a thing of the past.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...