A kindergarten teacher organized a trip to go stationery shopping last weekend. Stationery here means office supplies. So, we all got up early on a Saturday morning to see what the big deal was. We went first to the old Stationery Market. Inside a building were literally dozens of little shops with different kinds of office supplies. You could bargain for how much you wanted to pay and they had everything. We didn't spend much time in the old market because a quick walk down the street was the NEW old stationery market....did you get that? The market used to be down a building but then they built a new huge building and the market moved in. This building was five or so stories filled with now hundreds (I'm guessing but I bet it was that many) of little shops. And by little, I mean if you had ten people in the shop, you could barely move. All the teachers were going wild grabbing all the things they wanted from glitter pens to plastic zipper bags for sending home books with the kids. (Brandy - you would have loved checking out all the stuff!) In the first picture, we are all about to go into the Stationery Mart.
Tony, Manatsu, and I had our fill of the stationery pretty quickly with only Tony buying anything. He said he got swept up with the fervor of the other teachers. We left and walked down the street to a Chinese mall. Again, it was huge. Six stories in three huge connected buildings. We headed to the food court first to get some lunch. When I say food court, it was like no mall food court I've seen before. I should have taken a picture. There were several food places selling different stuff. We made one lap seeing what all there was and then tried waiting our turn for ordering. We found out quickly, after being pushed aside once or twice, that you can't wait for your turn or it will never come. You just push up to the counter and start pointing at the food and making eye contact with the workers. At least that is how I did it. I managed to buy some rice and broccoli. Tony and Manatsu also got some food and even though we shared with each other, we still had lots left.... all for about $2, total for all three of us!
We split up to do our shopping next. I tried my bargaining skills and I think I did alright. After shopping a bit, we met back up and headed over to Sanlitun area again for pedicures and foot massages. We headed home after that.
Later, we went out for dinner and checked out the Sanlitun bar scene.