Questions about Beijing/China

Returned recently from a brief jaunt to Beijing. An interesting trip which left me with a few (admittedly stupid) questions.

  1. Beijing has a lot of newsstands selling Chinese magazines. At many of the newsstands is a radio or speaker that seems to be barking commands. What are they saying? Is this some sort of “keep the citizens on their toes” Communist propaganda? Chinese government news?

  2. I bought some “Armani” pants at the Silk Market. Seem like decent quality. Are they likely to fall apart in the first wash or are they basically the real deal? What is the life expectancy of my “Rolex” which is genuinely “Swise Mades”? Why was the woman selling it to me pretending (and doing a bad job) the cops were about to bust her?

  3. How come no one has started a restaurant chain in Beijing that mainly caters to kids, a la Rainforest Cafe?

  4. When are they going to open up a branch of Xiao Wang’s Home Chinese Restaurant in Canada? :wink:

  1. You probably heard, “Wan bao! Wan bao! Beijing wan bao!” Translated as “Evening newspaper! Evening newspaper! Beijing evening newspaper!” Now that you’ve reminded me of it, it’s probably going to keep me up the rest of the night.

  2. Pretty much all the name brand stuff at the Silk Market is fake. Don’t they kind of advertise it as so in the guidebooks? My friend bought a North Face backpack. One of the clips broke on the first use.

  3. Because McDonald’s rules all.

  4. Heh?

already answered. probably screaming out “news paper, get your news paper.” I can’t think of the last time I heard a communist style public speaker broadcast.

It’s all fake. Your pants most likely won’t fall apart at the first wash and wear quite well for an extended period though. The Rolex has a life expectancy of 30 minutes to a year. She was pretending so that you would just pay up and not bargain too hard.

Oddly enough you missed the opening of the Rainforest Cafe in Beijing. Looks like it is also priced reasonably

There was one in Shanghai but it went bankrupt. It was priced waaaay above the market. I wish it was still open though cause my daughter would really enjoy it now.

Thanks for your answers.

Obviously my Silk Market purchases were fake, obvious without guidebook confirmation ($2 for a Rolex watch “genuine swise mades”, $8 for Puma shoes and Armani pants), $1 for a Zippo (star oil) lighter – but they did seem to be pretty decent quality on spec. I’ve heard that some of the counterfeits are done on the original equipment. I also bought a nice North face backpack, like your friend, but it held up well in China.

I was very much impressed with Beijing. They’ll do a good job with the Olympics.