Thursday, July 06, 2006

Farewell to Xiangyang market

(Note from the author: this entry should have been published last Saturday 1st July)
Yesterday was the last day of the infamous Xiangyang market, also known as "fake market". We went there to pay our respects to what has always been one of the few must-visit places in Shanghai (I can count with one hand the places one must visit while here: The Bund, Chenghuang Miao -or Yuyuan, Nanjing Dong Lu, and Xiangyang market).

I won't deny that I felt sad seeing this place being closed down. From the very first time that I came to Shanghai, shortly after my wedding more than 3 years ago, we have always visited this place, getting to know the shopkeepers, even teaching some of them a little Spanish, and yesterday even one of the girls asked me about my mum. The place was a battleground: hordes of locals (this place was normally not visited by Chinese) fighting each other for bargains. Literally fighting, I saw two fist-fights there last evening. And yesterday there was no bargaining: everything must go, so the prices were straight: a pair of Puma sneakers for 50 RMB, a Custo T-shirt, 15RMB. Two brand wallets (Dior, DKNY, Burberrys...) 15RMB, a Montblanc pen 5RMB. I just got a pair of sneakers and a pair of jeans (for 60RMB), but Jenny got loaded, with about 4 Custo Tshirts, wallets, and Chinese silk stuff.

At the gates, policemen with helmets and weapons blocked the entry to more customers and reporters from the media, that stood outside with their cameras. Yesterday was a funny day indeed. Next time we don't know where they'll be. Some go to Hongqiao (the other end of town), some go to Kejiguan in Pudong (some blocks ahead of our place). But one thing I know for sure: we will know where they are soon. We need our CK boxers, Nike socks and Cartier watches.

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