China Week 5

After coming back from Xi’An, everything is back to the regular routine again.  Class is pretty manageable, and I’m still finding time to do other activities in the city and visit the places I want to go.  Recently I took a trip to two very famous markets; the Pearl Market and the Silk Market.  These are unlike anywhere I have ever been in the U.S.  Infamous for their fake name brand goods, it would be completely ridiculous to go to one of these places without bargaining.  The initial price that someone there will ask for is generally several times what they are willing to settle for.  I actually really enjoy going to these places, not just because of the cheap prices that one is able to get. Although I was able to get a good amount of gifts for family members here, what I really enjoy is talking to the people there.  I will often at the same time as bargaining talk to the workers about everything from where they come from to which country tends to have the most annoying bargainers.  It is actually an excellent way to practice Chinese.  Sometimes I feel as though my greatest progress in terms of language comes after going to a place like this and just talking to people.  The people who work at places like this are also always thrilled to see a foreigner taking an interest in learning Chinese. I can’t believe that I’ve already been here over a month.  The feeling is somewhere between a mix between I’ve been here forever, and I got here yesterday.

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