while my coworkers were at work today, i enjoyed my one rare saturday off1 by going to chongqing for the today2 for a shopping spree. i bought 3 pairs of pants3 (RMB$1804 RMB$185 RMB$98) and a blue shirt (RMB$70) from a large multi-floor mens clothing wholesale department store.5 i had them all tailored on the spot,6 RMB$5 each for the pants but RMB$15 for the shirt. the sleeves were a little difficult because instead of button buttons they were snap buttons. i would've bought even more but the wholesale clothing outlet places close early, some by 3:00.7
after visiting the bookstore (looking for a dictionary that had simplified as well as traditional chinese text, no such luck), i made my way to hongqihegou station to take the bus back to changshou. i noticed chongqing itself wasn't very busy today, as high school students were all taking their college entrance exam this weekend. i got back around 6:00, right when my coworkers were returning home. i secretly wished that maybe someone would call asking me go out to dinner with them, but no such luck. instead i had some guizhou lamb noodles by myself, and saw a few buses pass by from inside the restaurant. at one point i even saw zeng fei walking behind a few of her warehouse department associates.
1 i went to bed at 2:00, woke up around 9:00.
2 i didn't leave until almost 11:00. before i left, i discovered my face was peeling. apparently the sunburn i suffered while in western sichuan was more severe than i thought. my slightly blistering and bleeding lip while i was there should've been a clue. i had some hand cream which i used as a facial moisturizing lotion, before i realized i had a whole tube of sunblock.
3 it wasn't by design, but all three pairs of pants feature some sort of lycra blend material for some extra stretchiness. the 2 pairs of pants that cost RMB$180+ are a little pricey for my taste - i normally like to shoot for around RMB$100 for pair of pants. but i'm so particular about my pants, and after extensively searching through more than a dozen other stores, i figured what the heck.
4 the lady where i bought my first pair of pants -fair rabbit childe - seemed a little smug when i came back to her store after i told her i wanted to look some more and she told me i wouldn't find a better deal on pants. maybe not in the men's mall - which carry mostly chinese name brands (although i've never heard of them before) and has a clientele of either gay men or ugly older men shopping with their much prettier and younger girlfriends. RMB$180 is still a little high - i'm more of an RMB$100/pants sort of guy - but at point i didn't know what else was available, so i bought them. "don't be angry!" i told the store owner, who burst out laughing. "i'm not angry!" she smiled, "you don't want to see me when i'm really angry!" making a sale always brings a smile to shop owners.
5 you can also see it as a large factory outlet mall, but featuring chinese brands i've never heard of before, with the exception of playboy. yes, apparently that's a very popular clothing brand in china, so there must be some sort of licensing agreement with the US magazine. it's so popular in fact that several other stores copy and use some sort of rabbit image for their logo as well.
6 in a hidden corner of the mall on the 8th floor. i had to ask 3 different people before i saw an english sign for "ironing" and found 2 tailors furiously working from sewing machines altering clothes on the fly.
7 the men's outlet mall closes at 3:30. i came back to get some more alterations done (2 pairs of pants and the shirt) and the tailors finished right when the mall was closing up. i was probably one of the last people to leave, through a small door manned by a security guard after nearly all mall stores were already shuttered for the day.