Me and Chairman Mao
  You want how much for that?
Yesterday I bought my first item of questionable origin--a Diesel sweater--at the Yaxiu Market, the closest place to buy whatever sort of counterfeit goods you might desire: pants, sweaters, shirts, jackets, golf clubs, electronics, and so on and so on. We also found a really nice BCBG jacket for Holly--so nice we thought it might have "fallen off the truck"--but, sadly, the lady only had size fours. People here are not big, as it turns out.

Anyway, the funniest thing about buying the sweater was watching Holly bargain for it. Needless to say, you never pay the first price they throw out, and if you pay half you're still probably not getting the best price you could. When we first looked at the sweater, the girl told us it could be ours for 280 yuan, or about 34 dollars; Holly offered 100 yuan, which is 12 bucks or so. They argued about it for a few minutes, and Holly apparently told the poor girl all sorts of things, including: we lived in Beijing and weren't tourists, so we should get a better price; we really needed the sweater because Beijing is so cold (it's supposed to be in the twenties over night later this week); and--most ominously--that the market was very big (five floors) and had a LOT of sweaters in it. After we started to walk away for the third or fourth time, the girl finally gave it to us for 120 yuan, which is less than 15 dollars. That, I believe, is "how it's done," as they say.

Now I am off to get some lunch, which is always interesting since I basically only know how to order one thing. Lucky thing I like potstickers.
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