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Archives for December 2015

Beijing, China: Silk Market

‘Tis the time of shopping season! During our trip to Beijing, we made an evening of it after taking the subway to get to the Silk Market, a shopping center boasting over 1500 vendors. We went there because colleagues shared the vendors they went to for certain items for a “fair price”. While they did have luxury and brand name items, they definitely were not real, which is presently a huge issue (trademark infringements).

For us though, it was a fun and interesting experience. It turns out I have a knack for bargaining! I got into it at the 2nd shop to get a scarf, an item I purchase when I visit a new destination. It’s almost becoming a problem though, even if they are my go-to accessory. I digress. The salesperson at this shop stall appeared to be my age, and she was trying to sell me the item and only wanted to talk to me instead of Mom because “I made more sense.” Hah!

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The entire time at the Silk Market, I kept smiling and laughing at how stubborn these sales people are. We even got a “hook up” from the 1st store; they gave us discounts more easily at the vendors we went to afterwards because we were “friends”. It’s like a compliment and plea mixed into 1. Here are 3 sales ladies at their booth selling jackets. They are 18, 21 and 27 years old.

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It was the language barrier, and the constant typing on their calculator for the appropriate price, and you needed to clarify whether it was in yen or US dollars. Bargaining got exhausting for me, but it was fun to do it! May this be the little recharge you need to get the rest of your Christmas and holiday shopping completed. Happy travels friends!

Beijing, China: Roasted Duck

I had ill timing in putting up this post, which would have gone well with the Thanksgiving holiday. Anyway, according to the locals, this restaurant was the place to go for roasted duck. Well, if what the locals say is true, then it has to be good! peking_duck_restaurant_exterior_beijing_china_day_with_kaye

The restaurant (apologies, I don’t recall the name) was huge; there were 5 floors. The floor we were on was called the Xin Xin Hall. It translates to “fragrance spreads far”; the Chinese character also means wealth and prosperity. After eating as much food as we did that evening, I was glad the elevators were there =)

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The language barrier definitely was an issue. Thankfully, they had an English menu for us to peruse. Even then, the point and nod method seemed to work for us. For the appetizer, we had ordered: “pancake” filled with duck meat, plum sauce and green onion. You assemble it at the table. It had the combination of the salty and sweet, which in my opinion, was delicious for my taste buds.

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We also ordered shark fin soup, which had small shreds of duck meat in it. I was uncertain of what the taste would be like, but it was very broth-y and warm, not scalding, on the tongue. I would classify this under good, home cooking, as you would with your mom’s homemade favorite soup.

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For the main entrée, they had table side service to slice up the duck, similar to Lawry’s Steakhouse, where they cut up the meat table side. That was then eaten with rice and plum sauce. Tea was served as well.

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Aside from the language barrier, the food was delectable, and was glad to have tried that preparation of duck in its origin city! I would suggest you have an open mind and try it if you haven’t yet. There were other items on the menu too if other members of your party don’t stretch his or her taste buds.

As always, happy travels friends!