After a long day of touring throughout Beijing, we headed back by way of our small tour bus, to the China World Hotel. We went directly to the hotel gift shop to make a purchase that we didn't have time to buy the night before.
As it turns out, Cheryl and I ended up getting in a fight with the woman at the counter because yesterday, another sales clerk told us that if we bought something "expensive", they would take American Express. Well, they wouldn't take it after all. However, in the end, I still made purchases - a silk table cloth with matching napkins and a lovely table drape. Cheryl bought a cloissone gift for her friend Joan at work.
This evening, there was a complementary Peking Duck dinner at the hotel, that was part of our tour. However, by this point on the trip, it is safe to say that everyone on this tour pretty much hates us for all the time we spend shopping and constantly being late.
So, Cheryl and I decided to "boycott" it and instead, we ate at the coffee shop. It was decorated in honor of Pakistan and playing Pakistani music. It was quite grating and annoying to listen to while we were trying to relax, talk and enjoy our meal.
We were both thrilled, however, as they had Pistachio ice cream!! Yay! Finally, food we could get excited about here in China.
After dinner, we went up to the room. I decided to make some journal entries and Cheryl read...then we got HIT!!! Once again! No stopping it --- the need to shop!! AHHHH
We went to the shopping arcade right next to the hotel. We bought - guess...that's right - more cloissone! Although Cheryl did buy jade chop sticks. I bought lots of cloissone. Once again, we wound up in a major argument with the sales clerk in this store. Although, she spoke Chinese (Mandarin) and we spoke English, it was very obvious that we were all angry with one another.
What happened was that Cheryl and I were busy shopping, in our own little world, with no clue that the closing time of the store was 9:30pm. As we were shopping, the sales clerk kept walking up to us saying "ok, ready?" and we kept responding. "No, not yet.".
Over and over at two minute intervals, she kept asking "Ok, ready?" and after the fifth time, we were really annoyed and said very emphatically, "NO!" It was at this point, that she started rambling and pointing to the sign indicating the store hours. We looked at our watches and realized it was now 9:40. Being young and obnoxious, we were mad that we were not given warning about the impending store closing.
The problem was, we were still trying to decide on which purchases to make! So, we proceeded to tell her (in English, of course) that we are not done yet, and we need some more time, to which the sales girl was yelling back. Annoyed at being interrupted and rushed, Cheryl and I paid and were promptly ushered out.
Cheryl blamed it on communism that there was really no incentive to be nice to the customers since they really had no way of truly improving their lot in life.
Still disgruntled from the experience, we arrived back to our room and decided to re-organize our suitcases and shopping bags. We were nervous and apprehensive about how out of control we had gotten with the shopping and all the stuff we continued to accumulate. I had one suitcase, two shopping bags, a briefcase, a purse and a big bag. My shoulders were starting to hurt just thinking about transporting all this crap.
Cheryl jokingly, decided to wear all the things that were taking up the most room - sweatshirts, jeans and jacket and big socks. The only problem was that we were in 90 Degree weather! And to add insult to injury, we were still waiting for even more clothes from the hotel laundry services that still needed to be packed!
On this evening, we realized that they didn't change the sheets - so there goes another half-star, bringing us down to three stars.
Tomorrow, May 21st, we will be leaving Beijing for Xi'an after
And so went our last night in Beijing!!
Check back in two weeks for Part 10: Last Day in Beijing: Tian An Men Square, Mao's Tomb and The Temple of Heaven.