Thursday, April 30, 2009

First Day in China

I arrived in China on April 4. I was there for 3 weeks on business and had a chance to take a number of photos. Here are a couple from the hotel room window on the first morning. Jet lagged pretty good. Couldn't sleep so I took some pictures. These are in Beijing looking east and west more or less at the intersection of Jian Guo Men Wai Da Jie and Third Ring Road. This street is known as Chang'an Avenue closer to the center of town. The Forbidden City is a few miles down the street past the green towers.

On Sunday morning I went to the Dirt Market called Pan Jia Yuan Shi Chang. Big place with indoor, covered and outdoor stalls. Must be more than a 1000 different vendors. You can buy anything from new "antiques", real antiques, junk, ceramics, calligraphy, brass figurines, you name it. I was looking for slide rules and moon cake molds. Found one of each that I was interested in. Very interesting place. You always draw a crowd when you start negotiating. Everyone is interested in whether or not the foreigner can negotiate and what the final price is.

All sorts of stuff on sale. Here is some statuary and miscellaneous stone pieces. LOTS of jade for sale. I can't figure out the jade prices. They range from less than a dollar to $1000s. All looks pretty much the same to me.

The guys on the right will help you carry your stuff home. They
also will help the vendors at the end of the day if they don't have their own cart.

All sorts of ceramics. Statuary. Figurines. Vases.

Here is the moon cake mold I bought. Hard to see but there is a repair to the wood next to the carving on the end away for the handle. Tried to use this as a negotiating point. I don't think it worked out so well. She pointed out that the repair was so well done that it should increase the value of the piece. At the end of the day we agreed on a price and we were both happy.

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