Anyway the season is changing from Winter to Spring. We know that because the government has turned off our heat. Last year was one of the coldest Spring's on record. This Spring has been lovely so far. Apparently it is not the approved time to wear sandals though. I've worn my Keene's with socks a few times and gotten lectures from strangers about how it's too cold to be wearing sandals.
Anyway, today our helper came so I could go out. We have a lovely woman who comes in twice a week to help with some household stuff and give me some freedom to come out. She is a sister and a hard worker and we are thankful to have her.
So this morning I took off to buy our little guy some new clothes. If you think this means going to a Wal-Mart or department type store, well, you'd be wrong. We shop at a huge .....mall/building/market that has stall after stall of varying things to buy. It's a place to bargain and look around and if you are in the right mood, it's pretty fun. There are actually a few places like this in our city- I went to the closest one which is the one where the vendor's are least likely to want to bargain. However, their wares are pretty good and it's still pretty cheap.
When I got there, I discovered that the whole parking lot and surrounding area were being torn up. I wove my bike around the construction and went inside. I could not find the children's clothing anywhere. I went to the place where I usually go (passed the shoes and through the yarn) and the stall weren't there. I walked all around the second and third floors and just couldn't find them. I think I just was totally confused or that the stalls have moved. I did find one small stall where I have bought clothing from before so I stopped there. I described the age and size of our little guy and told her he was Chinese, not American-yes, this makes a difference. I took down one little shorts outfit and said that looked like about the right size. I found something similar but smaller and said that would also be good. No, she said. That's too small-you have to take this size. The role of the shopkeeper in China is different than in America. She is the authority. You bend to her will. I thought the clothes looked a little big but he could grow into them. So I choose four outfits and asked her how much- there are no prices on the clothing. She named the price and I thought that my Chinese friends would pass out if they found out I paid that much. So I opened my mouth to ask if she could make it a little cheaper...你可不可以便宜一点？Before I spoke, she told me she had already given me a discount. So I caved and paid. The thing about bargaining is that you have to be willing to walk away...and I wasn't.
So I paid $25.00 for four nice outfits and walked away. Then I bought some pajama's at a different place for a pretty reasonable price.
He was pretty excited to get his new clothes. I guessed pretty correctly on the size.
This says "Don't be fooled by my size"
The new pajamas had to be rolled up....
As they were a little long!