fabric market

So Friday afternoon, for a Relief Society field trip, we went to the biggest fabric market here in Beijing. Eric came home from work so that Kylee and I could both go.  I guess there are several, but that this one is the biggest. I can’t remember the name of it –  I have to get better at writing words down, so that I can start using them in my vocab!  We took 4 vans down to the market, and it was a wild ride getting there. The traffic situation is so intense, and so following people is like super hard, b/c of the wild, weaving in and out and cutting off and following close behind. Lol. It’s a riot. If I thought the driving was intense, then we had to find parking. And of course, I have my parking lot phobia…so it was stressing me out. Turns out… you kinda just park wherever. I think there were 14 of us, and we picked a place to meet, and just embarked on our own little expeditions. I loved it… holy cow mom, you would freak out. That is the first place we have to go when you come.  There is just an amazing variety and amazing prices. I learned how to ask how much one meter is…I would  say “e me”, which means one meter, and then they would rattle something off that I didn’t get, and then I would grab the calculator, and they would type the number in. perfect! So I did a lot of communicating with a calculator! I didn’t buy any fabric…just looked around in amazement with ideas swirling in my head…but still feeling a little non-committal. Many of the moms were buying fabric for Halloween costumes. I guess you can take fabric to seamstresses along with a picture from a magazine or whatever, and they can whip it up!
There is a big Halloween celebration out here for the expats. Sounds like I am going to have to get my act together on costumes.
I snapped a few photos, the light was really bad, but you get the idea. I was told I saw about 1/20th of the whole thing… and I just kept going back, back, back…it got out of fabric into buttons, zippers, batting, yarn, ribbons, elastics etc. There was a little food market in the middle (I guess kind of a food court LOL).  You know what I just love? Everyone is SO nice. Obvioulsy they can tell I am a foreigner, and that we can’t communicate, but they are so quick to smile, and willing to help and try to communicate. They are just good, kind people. It’s such  safe environment when it comes to crime, well-that is what I am told. There is not reason to feel threatened or unsafe.
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While we were gone, Eric loaded up all the kids in the JINBEI and headed out to the sports store

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DECATHALON. I am impressed how brave he is to take all 5 kids by himself. He found a great deal on some new rugby boots, but they didn’t have them in his size at that store, so he had to go to another store… he loaded everyone up and went to another store, and had quite the battle with traffic getting back…but the kids love getting out and checking stuff out. The kids wear their HEELYS everywhere we go, and heely around… everyone is so shocked that they are sliding along on their shoes! They love it when the kids stop and show them the little wheel in their heel. All 3 of the kids are so good on their heelys, and it’s fun to watch people’s responses.
Last night I learned how to play NERTS (is that how you spell?) – Katie and Clark would be so impressed. We went to game night last night, and had a great time. I am loving getting to know the folks living here. Everyone has the most fascinating stories. One of the men in the branch used to teach at Eric’s Middle School… he is now the pricipal here at the international school. fun connections.
Today is eric’s first Rugby game and we are going to take the kids ice skating. There is a new rink just built. So we have to go check that out. I think Connor has a little thrush, and I have never dealt with that, even at home. SO I have to get that figured out.

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