Today I popped into Shanghai to pick up my suit and visit the fakes market.
The journey in this morning was enough to make my blood boil: the bus toured around the Huzhou countryside for an hour before hitting the road to Shanghai, and once on the road we had two random police checks to make sure everyone was carrying a valid ID. I was not. I usually don’t take my passport out with me – especially when going somewhere like Shanghai – so all I had to offer was my driving license. Knowing the Chinese love of bureaucracy I imagined a very frustrating morning explaining to the police in broken Chinese how I came to be in their country; but fortunately for me this did not happen: on both occasions the officers spoke something in Chinese (presumably – “where is your passport”) before shrugging their shoulders and moving on. Result.
When I arrived I popped into the market – via KFC – to pick up some more unnecessary purchases: paul smith polo shirts, a north face jacket, american football top and a cool monocular (i.e. one half of binoculars) which is meant for golf, but I am using it currently to spy on my neighbours. I decided to go back to the same shops I visited previously, expecting much of the haggling process to be voided; instead I found it more difficult to negotiate good prices and there was certainly no value in repeat custom. As long as you know the prices you should be paying then it’s easy to go to different shops until you get what you’re looking for. Having said that, I did discuss the relevant merits of fake rolex watches (there are apparently three types – cheap Chinese, middle Japan and high-end Swiss) with one shop owner for about 30 minutes before deciding not to buy anything. He was not in the least bit perturbed and was very kind, so if I decide to buy any watches I will definitely go back to him.
Afterwards I went to the Fabric market, which is a few metro stops away in Nanpu Bridge, to pick up my suit. Monday is obviously a quiet day as the shop owners were asleep as I walked in. On the plus side the suit looks amazing and I shall be definitely going back for more. Decided not to get a leather jacket this time just because I won’t be able to go back to collect it for a few weeks, so will do a big order some time in June.
Just got back to my apartment with my tea – steamed dumplings, rice and some chicken soup – which I have spilt all over the floor. Porridge it is then. Argh…………