Good news, I finally had an almost normal night’s sleep, I slept from 10:30pm until almost 6am. Hopefully this means I am finally adjusted to the time change, except that I was almost delirious from lack of sleep by staying up that late (woke up at 1am the previous morning).
So to start off our day of shopping, we made a poor purchase before we even showered. We bought some fresh baozi and soy milk. They assured us the buns were fresh and had no seafood. Unfortunately people don’t always have the most honest sales practices. Mostly anything vegetarian in China has some sort of seafood in it and my vegetarian buns that they assured me did not have shrimp had shrimp in them. I should have remembered this, but I am out of practice eating in China. Luckily I don’t trust people with my life (allergy) so I opened it up before I took a bite. Our fresh buns were also frozen in the middle. They put the buns back into the steamer for my husband though I still could not eat them. It was a great breakfast because it got me ready for a day of shopping in China where you have to be very alert.
It’s really shocking to see how much prices have risen. The baozi cost 2.5 yuan, 3 years ago they were 1 yuan or less. Taxis used to be 7.5 yuan and now are 9 yuan. Then going to the supermarket, it seems a lot of things are much cheaper in America. People tend to disagree on this. You can buy things very cheaply in China, but aside from food, mostly anything you would actually want to use is cheaper in America. You can buy a cheap shirt on the street for 10 rmb and it will be ill-fitting and poor quality or you can buy a shirt at a store for a few hundred RMB and it will be good quality, but then you’ve paid more than you would have in America. Nothing in the Chinese supermarket jumped out at me as a great buy. My actual intention at the supermarket was to buy some tights since it was cold and I didn’t pack any pants, but they all looked like granny support stockings so I left bare-legged to go to the outside markets.
Jimo road is a famous shopping market in Qingdao, known in Shandong hua as “Jimi lu.” It is very pretty as it was designed to look classically Chinese. This is the place to go for “Chinesey” souvenirs and it is where I found great deals. We bought paper fans and silk (probably not real silk) pillow covers, and pearls.
Not all parts of have China have cheap pearls, but Qingdao is famous for it. As my husband used to own a Jade store in the jewelry section of Jimo, we were able to get whole-seller prices on the pearls which are substantially cheaper than in America. It doesn’t hurt to know a few names and to buy several strands at a time. Beautiful pale pink and deep purple pearls that retail for several hundred dollars in America we bought for a very small fraction of that cost.