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In No Particular Order, II

Beijing, China

Lost in single product malls:

Beijing has these niche malls that are dazzling in their expanse and repetition. There is one devoted to wedding photos meaning they sell both camera gear, professional make up kits and bizarrely ornate costumes for all ages. This mall has several camping/outdoor gear store fronts. I haven't yet figured the connection yet. Maybe after the marriage and after the photos are 'published' glossy ad style, the actual photo shoot often coming months after the ceremony, someone feels the need to disappear in the wilderness?? Anyhoo, these are vastly outnumbered by the former three. Now, these malls are rectangular/square buildings of simple concrete. Straight halls lead past myriad small shops or stalls pretty much selling the same thing and thus being indistinguishable from each other save for the Chinese multi-slash stroke characters that are also rather indistinguishable to me at a glance. If I perchance enter a stall will I remember upon leaving that I entered from the right or the left? Was I heading for white wall with the red sign or was I heading for the white wall with the red sign? I try to have a plan like keeping something in the hand of the direction I should turn at the next T intersection. This worked well for the quilt, button, zipper, elastic, shoulder pad, fabric market, the quilts, buttons, zippers, elastic, shoulder pads, and fabrics each having their own indistinguishable sections. This market is in sections and I have to remember if I am in the first, second, third or fourth set of hallways, some sets big enough to fill a basketball court others to fit a soccer field.

Subway ticket quintuple fare:

Beijing subways now have ticket dispensing machines. Apparently they run out of change quickly. They also do not take one quai bills, only coins. Coins are rare these days possibly because they are sitting inside all the subway ticket dispensers. The smallest bill they will take is five times the fare. To save time I decide to get it over with and buy five tickets. I pocket my four surplus, assuming I can skip the machine on my next subway ride and descend to the platform. All is cool… Until I try to use an excess ticket on my next ride two hours later. Expired!! I wasted on those four extra tickets...... $1.25.

Blue sky dry ground:

I am deep into cavern four of the fabric, bedding, elastic, zipper, button, shoulder pad mall maze when I hear rain on the corrugated roof. It pounded hard! When I emerged from the maze less then an hour later the ground was dry. Was I dreaming? No. Just Beijing dry air working it's evaporation magic.

permalink written by  prrrrl on September 26, 2009 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: China 2009
tagged Rain, Mall and Subway

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