Beijing - Ya Show Market (China)

I didn’t like shopping before. It has been always a nightmare to me especially when I went out witha girl to buy something for her. When I bought stuffs like clothes the main point was to survive it as soon as possible. I choosed the first piece I liked and I ran away. Especially I tried avoid the shop assistant coming to me asking: - can I help you?

Somehow I felt bothered and confused from this question. I didn’t know even myself what I wanted and now I had to explain it to someone. And I knew she was going not to help me because anything I want they had, and anything I try was going to be perfect on me and I definitely had to buy it.

yaShow Fashion Market at Sanlitun

In this term Ya Show market in Beijing is a nightmare.

- Hi Mr. Wanna buy very nice sandals? Look into my eyes. I am honest to you. I give you the best price.

And she takes the big calculator typing a horrible price in it. 1.500 yuans (apr. 180 USD).

- This is the normal price for these high quality Timberland sandals. But you are my good friend so I give it to you for this price.

And my good friend (I had so many good friends in that market as never before) typed again with the calculator. 680 yuans.

The whole thing is a theater which costs a lot if you don’t play good enough. I guess markets like this are for people who like to play.

Lately I started to like to buy things. It brings me good feelings. Not the shopping itself, I still try to survive it but somehow the inner feeling before, that I am eager to have something and the good feeling after at home when I am unpacking. The smell of the new books, the new shoes. Like at Christmas time when in my childhood I opened my presents. It was like everything has changed after I opened the boxes. The day before I didn’t have it, I even didn’t know about its existence and now I have to prepare my soul adapting that something totally new came to my life.

I realized that even my sister liked this feeling. Once she has got new shoes and she was very happy with them. I was a famous lazy who never wanted to go to the store even if I was very hungry. So I went to her:

- Szilvi, don’t you want to go to the store to buy some coke?

She answered with an angry tone in her voice:

- Let me hang! Go, and buy it yourself.

This was the common answer. But that day I continued like this:

- But you can go in your new shoes!

That moment was like when the hunter hits the target….the deer. It stops, keeps standing for a few seconds and collapses. The anger and rejection was collapsing in the same way in her mind. She can go in her new shoes. And she did.:)

The other good thing in shopping is that it’s a nice event. I go to the store…the shop assistant is smiling I am smiling…she is happy that I am buying and I am happy that I am buying, too. Everybody is satisfied.

But in this Ya Show market its different. If you wanna play in the theater good enough...which means getting the cheapest price…you have to go till the borders. Playing that you got heart attack from the price she typed. Then she gives the calculator to you:

- Tell me what is the best price for you?

A good merchant maybe uses the same strategy…starting from low. Typing like 100 yuans into the calculator. Now her turn to be angry:

- You don’t take me serious! This is less then the price I had it for. Give me an other best price.

At this point the smiley scene is over. We both are playing the role of the angry fighters. I guess even 100 yuans is a good price for her because I can imagine those poor women making the sandals for almost nothing in dark cellars under weak lights. And even 300 yuans is a good price for me already because at home I can buy it for the double only.

But this game…this play goes till the ultimate. Till the highest she can reach and till the lowest I can reach. Even if you are satisfied you better not to show it. I saw a Chinese guy who made this theater so perfectly that he was even shouting, throwing away his cap. But it was not enough. So he went further and he pretended to leave shouting all around maybe saying he will never be back to this terribly expensive place which is a waste of time. And after making a few step the woman ran after him grabbing his arm, pulling him back and giving the stuff they were bargaining about with a totally angry face saying maybe that she is bankrupting after this business….she cant feed her children anymore but ok….she gives it for that price because she promised.