So today was kind of an exciting day because we were followed around by the CBC crew while we went to the Pearl market, the Pearl market is a place where you can go to buy knock off clothes, jewellery and all sorts of crazy things, anyways CBC wanted to follow the Judo team around one of these markets to see the athletes in action after they were finished competing – they also wanted to see what kind of fun we were having trying to bargin down the people at these markets. The thing you have to know about these kinds of markets is that you can get it for pretty much nothing but it won’t be easy. We were actually going to shop at the Silk market but the store would not let any of the cameras into the buildings, and I’m pretty sure it’s because they don’t want the cameras to catch any of the illegal stuff going on in the market. In my opinion the only difference between the Silk and pearl markets is the prices. At the Silk market you can bargin down the people to buy stuff for next to nothing – example I bought I pair of Diesel jeans for 10 dollars, which would normally cost you oh I don’t know 200 plus back home in Canada. So anyways we went to the pearl market with the camera crew from CBC but didn’t really buy anything because we knew we could get better deals at the silk market, so we just played the roll out for the camera and after we were done we headed over to the silk market to shop the day away.
Once we got to the silk market we started to shop, and this place isn’t just any regular shopping mall, it is HUGE - like a shopping mall back home, but the difference is - there are little boutique type shops set up all over the place in lanes like at the grocery store, so that when you walk by the people can try to sell their merchandise – these people are very grabby, so like even when you’re walking by them they will grab your arm and try to pull you into your stores, they also love your Olympic pins and well if you let them get close enough to you, they will steal them right off your shirt – it’s a crazy place with a lot of crazy stuff, defiantly not all legit, meaning legal but it is a fun day for sure.
The best part is trying to get the best price, normally they will start the price of really high, like for example those jeans that I ended up getting for 10 dollars well they started the price off around 120 dollars. The people are just trying to find that one guy (sucker) who is like ok, and pays them the expensive price – but we know what you can get them for and what is a good price.
I also got fitted for a tailor made suit, all the judo guys did. It cost us about 130$ Canadian which is really nothing at all – plus you choose your own fabric, mine is a black with white pin strip suit – which is made form cashmere wool – which everyone is saying would go for around 1300$ back home. So after shopping around for the day which was a long one I headed back home. 6 hours of shopping haha, was a lot of fun though, I will be going back on the 23rd to get my suit, try it on and if there are any adjustments I need to have done they will do them. Anyways so far I have purchased 4 Abercrombie Polo’s, some watches, sun glasses, 2 pairs of jeans, underwear @ 1dollar – haha they are really nice too (dolce and gabana) everyone bought some. Anyways I bought a bunch of stuff, and when I go back to get my suit I will get fitted for some dress shirts, and will probably shop around for some shoes, maybe a nice belt. I mean the prices are so good that when I go home, I don’t know if I will be able to buy anything ever again- knowing what I paid for it hear. Not all of it is fake, some of it “fell of the truck” some of the fakes are so good that you cant tell. Either way this place is wicked. We actually bought some knock off watches from this girl who said she didn’t sell any omega watches – well the truth is, she does have omega watches, she just cant have them on display! Because of all the police that go around checking for knock offs, so she wants to sell them to you but she has to bring you somewhere else to show you them! Which was a crazy thing for us!
So she grabs our arms and pulls us into the stair case, up the stairs and into this dark area.. and I really do mean dark , like the only light was from her flash light lol.. she sits us down on these little stools and disappears for 1min and comes back with this suit case full of watches, and I mean FULL lol.. so we sit down and she starts pulling out all these omega knock off watches, anyways we bought a couple for like 12 dollars which is nothing, and they look really cool. Either way you cant lose going to this place. Sun glasses for next to nothing as well. Real pearls for a fraction of the price.
To sum it up, it is a shady place but also well known, so its kinda like the police know whats going on, but they just cant do anything to stop the trafficking of illegal merchandise. After the long day I headed back to my apt, showered up and chilled out until bed.