We were welcomed this morning by talking birds just outside the hotel. They didn’t speak English, so I let Shirley do the talking in Chinese. None of it made sense to me, but Shirley could hear them saying a little Chinese poem, “Pretty flower, full moon.” Shirley said the poem goes back to ancient times, but I think she’s just covering up for the birds because they’re not very good poets.
Our first day in Beijing consisted almost entirely of shopping. I have a lot of family and friends to get things for, and Shirley helped me haggle to get some good deals and free stuff. I bought three traditional Chinese shirts that I’m excited to wear back at Heavenly when we get home. I had to ask for the biggest size they had so I could fit my tall and broad frame into them. I didn’t even want to try putting on Chinese shorts.
One of my favorite moments of this trip will be the luggage salesmen we saw at the mall. Shirley was convinced my luggage wasn’t good enough to safely haul all my unmentionables, and she knew a place where the luggage is great quality for a good price. What she failed to mention however, is that every sale comes with a very enthusiastic and rigorous test of the luggage’s abilities. Picture this:
You walk into the store and show mild interest in a nearby suitcase. Before you have a chance to even touch it, a very energetic salesman picks up the suitcase and throws it at the farthest wall. Then, he sprints over to the poor suitcase and proceeds to jump up and down on it several times to show you its durability. I’ll admit, it was pretty impressive, but it wasn’t done yet. The salesman finds a friend to STAND on the fully extended handle and proceeds to seesaw this man up and down on the suitcase handle to show you the strength of the handle. And if that isn’t enough, he has his friend get off of the handle and then Hulk slams the bag over his head on the ground several times until every person on the second floor of this Chinese mall is aware you're looking at suitcases. At last, he throws the suitcase in the general direction of the register and asks you what color you want.
I took the silver one.
After a long day of shopping and assaulting luggage, we were in the mood for some delivery. Using a Chinese delivery app, we ordered braised pork and beef pancakes, along with golden sand pastries for dessert. The braised pork was good, but I must say, Heavenly does it better. The beef pancakes were new, however, and were very good. It was sort of like a crepe with beef sausage in it instead of fruit. The golden sand pastries are small buns with a yellowish filling inside that tastes very sweet.
We ordered more than we could handle and quickly passed out with The Hangover with Chinese subtitles playing in the background.