Fakes and faux pas

Apologies for my publishing delay – college has been overwhelming and I haven’t had the chance recently to go out and explore Shanghai. But I’m here (and 100% not leaving)!

I realised that one thing I haven’t yet discussed here is the fake markets in Shanghai. If you’re completely new to this concept of a “fake market” and have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a little lowdown. Firstly, these markets (usually shopping centres) have an abundance of fake or copied goods, for (on a good day) a tenth of a price of what the real would cost. For example, in Australia a pair of Converse sneakers that cost $70 – $80 (around 400块). I bought my sneakers for around 80块 (about $14). Like that’s pretty damn good if you ask me, considering they’re just some canvas shoes that I wreck in the space of seven milliseconds.

Secondly, these fake markets have EVERYTHING. If you went deep enough, and I know this for a fact, you can probably bargain down a cute little puppy. You could probably buy the shop owner’s dog if you wanted to. Why not. It’s China.

This brings me to the third thing you should know – bargain, bargain, bargain. There is literally zero point in going to a fake market and accepting the first price that they say. Or when they say “ahhhh, real price is *insert deathly price here*”. I’m not here to buy the real thing. If I was here to buy the real thing, I’d be buying the real thing. Stupid.

There are two fake markets in Shanghai – mainly for clothes, shoes, jewellery, DVDs, make-up, technology or bags. But bargain for everything and anything.

So my stories involving the fake market range from standard, to hilariously weird, to “okay, let’s not ever go there again”. Recently though, my friend Chloe and I were looking for bags and DVD’s – we only went there for bags and DVD’s. We left with much more than that. Chloe was looking for a backpack, and ended up with a beautiful red Balenciaga bag. The funny thing about that bag though, was the fact that the bag wasn’t for sale. I found it hidden behind lots of other bags and was a smaller version of the one she was looking at. It was a little more worn, and the guy said “because of real leather”. Not because of real leather. The bag belonged to another woman who owned the shop. So, we bought the bag. And as he’s wrapping it up, he pulls out wads and wads of cash (there was like over 6000快 in there). Truly bizarre.

So I’m saying sorry to that woman for buying her bag, and kind of sad that she didn’t accidentally leave all that cash in there. It’s okay though, it probably would’ve all been recycled into the fake market.

But the fake markets in Shanghai are a must – speak a little 中文, say you’re a 学生 and you’ll be good to go. Just avoid buying people’s things.

In other news – I’m heading to Seoul, South Korea in a few weeks so I’ll hopefully have some great stories and photos to share!

Bella 冯茵

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