Monday, August 8, 2011

Mandarin Mondays: 二手市场

I mentioned last week that some of the furniture available at the second hand market (èr shǒu shì chǎng, 二手市场) is better quality than a lot of the cheap new stuff and that we are excited to have purchased some furniture from there to finish furnishing our home.

The second hand market near us is a very unique place. It is almost hard to imagine if you haven't been to something like it. You see, it is like a small villiage inside the market. People sell furniture (jiā jù, 家具), appliances (jiā diàn, 家电), and kicthen (chú fáng, 厨房) items, but they also live there. In the back of a lot of the shops are beds that aren't for sale, because they are used by the sellers. This in effect is their home (jiā, 家).

When you go there, people are cooking (zuò cài, 做菜) their food (shí wù, 食物) over open flame, right in the middle of the isles. Children are running and playing all over, except for the littlest ones, who are either being held or are tied to someone's back.
Visiting a place like this makes us realize all over again how blessed we really are. In this city, most people have a lot of stuff. Most people in our apartment complex actually have a lot more material goods than we do. We recently saw someone moving out of an apartment above us and they literally filled a large (probably equivalent to 12 passenger van in the states) with clothes (yī fú, 衣服). Most people in the city are searching for fulfillment in material things that can never bring true happiness. We are blessed in so many ways that aren't tangible on this earth, and we don't envy those who have more things than us. However, visiting areas where they don't have so many possessions makes you even more thankful for everything we do have.

It also makes it even harder to want to bargain for a better price. Everyone knows that we are very frugal, and no one wants to get ripped off; but at the same time, you know the people they don't have much. At least as a foreigner, you know that you will almost always be paying more than a local person at these types of markets.

After you bargain back and forth, and finally agree on a price, you have to arrange for delivery (chuán sòng, 传送). Usually, someone who delivers will be following you around everywhere and as soon they see you making a purchase (or even get close to purchasing something) they'll be asking if you need delivery. Then you have to negotiate a price for delivery.

The price of delivery may depend on whether it delivered by truck (kǎ chē, 卡车)or by tricycle (sān lún chē, 三轮车). When we got our table, desk, and chairs when we first moved it was delivered by a truck. A young guy who just got his truck and his driver's license delivered it, in fact. That was an experience all in itself. This time a guy with a tricycle cart delivered the two sofas (shā fā, 沙发), and table (zhuō zi, 桌子) we got (for me to use as a desk most of the time). He delivered all of these items in one trip too. Nate jogged along beside him to direct him to the right place.

After we got them inside our house (wǒ men jiā,  我们家) and cleaned them off, we enjoyed our new furniture, feeling very blessed.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you are having difficulties posting a comment, try selecting Name/URL in the drop down box below (the URL is optional).


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...