Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Bartering Monster is Born

Today’s agenda featured one thing and one thing only…Marcie goes shopping. And let me tell you, it has been a thing of beauty to watch her get the lay of land and compare prices at 20 different shops since we arrived. And thanks to the knowledge passed on from friends who have blazed this trail before us, she knew the one shop that has reasonable prices (making comparisons much easier). Plus, since the island is a matter of a few blocks by a few blocks, jumping back and forth is no problem. So this afternoon, she and Maggie come bounding through the door all smiles with stroller handles full of bags. “Kev, you will never guess how much I got all this for and how much I saved us!” Funny, seems like I hear that almost every time she comes back from Wal-Mart or Sam’s…same story, different hemisphere. Anyway, she was right…several outfits, more squeaky shoes, little gifts for family and friends galore and other knick knacks…for the low, low price of 475 Yuan (approximately $75 for those of you keeping up with the exchange rate). You know me, the answer I give in the States would work here too, but we have saved major funds on my lack of eating the last few days, so I abstained. Sounds like she stuck pretty close to the “never pay much more than 50% of what they are asking” instruction we received stateside. It was so fun to sit and listen to her talk about the negotiations and walking out on people who just weren’t interested (until she walked out of their store and they ran her down and said OK).
Two funny moments in the conversation: 1) “You think Wal-Mart in Paducah would mind if the next time I get groceries I offer to pay them $120 out of the $240 they’re asking?” 2) “I told one shop owner as I left ‘asi-asi’, trying to express my thanks…then I realized I just told him ‘so-so’ in Spanish.” (Here it’s Xie Xie…pronounced “she-ay she-ay”, but sounding more like “she she” when they say it so fast.) She said the guy said “you’re welcome”, so who knows? 

Maggie was a little trooper and was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed for the majority of the trip…and had a new little Barbie doll in one hand when she got back (hasn’t let go of it since). She was the real winner of the day, as evidenced by today’s photo. She already looks a little too grown up for me…so all you out there with little boys that think…..well, never mind for now.


Chelsea said...

Maggie is so beautiful!!! I can't wait to meet her!!
We are continuing to pray for you, Marcie, Maggie, Trevor, and Brandon. We check your blog every day :)


Shannon said...

Can't wait to see you all!! Praying for a safe trip home with a very content Maggie. What a sweet homecoming it will be!

Sam and Holly said...

Hi Peck Family -
We are so enjoying your blog, we are hoping to travel to China in the next 3-4 months to bring home our daughter - so we are trying to take it all in as you live it. Maggie is so precious!

Holly Dunning (Benton, Kentucky)
mom to Andrew and Elizabeth (adopted 09-05-05)
Hannah (waiting for us in China)

China Dreams said...

Funny. I practiced xie xie and said it like you first described at the Beijing airport; the guy had to have me say it a few times before he figured out what I was saying and then he said, in perfect English, Ah, you're welcome!