A trip to the ‘old market’ was a highlight of my last full day in Chengdu. My friend He Gong showed me the best way to barter here. You ask the price and when they tell you, you just walk away. No comments no haggling just walk away. Always, before you go 30 feet they make another offer, usually ½ of the first. But just keep walking. Later walk by again and see if they have anything to say. Then they will get serious and you can get down to serious business.
For example my cool Chairman Mao watch with the waving hand; “How much is that”, the guy says,”140 Yuan”, then walk away. After a few minutes walking by again the guy says “It’s a really good deal at 70 Yuan”, keep walking. Then the guy yells, “my best offer 60 yuan”. Then we return and offer 20 Yuan and settle for 35 yuan (about $4). I don’t know how long it will keep working but I don’t know anyone else that has a Chairman Mao watch with a waving hand.
The ceramics shop was amazing. I don’t know where they have a kiln big enough to fire vases that are two yards tall but there were plenty of these vases around. It would be interesting to try to get one home intact. And the brush shop – too many choices, squirrel hair, wolf hair, badger hair, horse hair???
I just returned from another dinner with the director of the Sichuan University Art Department. It was another trip in to the realm of Sichuan spices, finally got to try ‘Dragon Fruit’. As always the food was superb. Unfortunately I didn’t take my camera. The dry-ice volcano made out of meat would have made a great photo.
But most important the director and a visitor, Professor Joyce Liu from the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan agreed to host the Polish Print Exhibition next October. And they promised to do a better job than Tianjin. October is a long time away but I look forward to seeing what will happen.
China for me is a very special place. This will be my last post from China unless something spectacular happens tomorrow on the way to the airport.