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  • Writer's pictureElena Stoeva

Beijing China, Day 12 - Clothes Auction and Around Town with Becca

Updated: May 1, 2018

What a day! Becca took me to a clothes auction which was very interesting experience! Apparently, there are no thrift stores in Beijing where someone could buy second hand clothes, and this is how the idea of clothes auctions originated, mostly by foreigners.

We took a taxi to town, which was the longest taxi ride ever. 1 hour and 45 minutes for 70 RMB. = 11 USD

We didn’t know it was a holiday today, therefore the traffic.

The feel of the neighborhood small houses, Hutongs and tall apartment buildings:

We arrived at the organizer’s apartment, Becca from New Zealand, where everyone spoke English! There were a few American women too, who had lived in Beijing for several years. All teachers.

The fenced yard of the building. You can see the building on the pics above too. Right next to some little houses. Such a contrast!

There were 16 of us, and there was a sign up sheet and a group chat. At one point there was even a wait list but someone couldn’t make it so I was able to get in. The place was nice and clean, with a pile of clothes in the middle of the living room, where everyone had already started browsing.

They were all different sizes depending on what everyone brought. There was some Champaign with cheese and crackers and other good stuff on the table. The bid started at 10 RMB in multiples of 10 and proceeds go to a charity, selected by the host. She selected the American Association for autism awareness. (Not sure why not China, I feel like they’d need it more) The clothes remaining are donated to a local Chinese organization. This organization supports relocated families. Here is the interesting part! If you relocate within China, you are not allowed to use the healthcare and school system of your new city. You can only use the ones at the city you came from. WTF??? What about kids who cannot go to school because their parent had to make ends meet and look for a job in a different city. Apparently there were cases of parents living their kids behind....

I walked out with a dress and jeans, which I am going to cut up and use for painting rags (jeans)

We didn’t wait until the end as there were tons of clothes to be auctioned off. We went to get coffee and walk around town. A lot of people were out in the streets because of the holidays, beautiful whether too. We walked in several stores and were amazed at how different everything is.

Than we sat for a drink happy hour at Zarah’s (right next to Alba cafe from the other day) and got some cocktails.

10 minutes after we sat down, the auction host, Becca walked in with her family and friends and sat on the table next to us! It felt really cool to see someone I knew, kind of.

After happy hour, we were both happy and Becca, my roommate decided she really wants a Falafel. We had Falafels in a small street cafe.

Then Becca fell asleep on the way back in the taxi. This time it only took half and hour and 50 RMB. = 8 USD.

Becca is very outgoing and social person. She can talk to everyone and ask for anything. It is good to have a friend like her when you are in a foreign country. I though she knew all the women at the auction, and it turned out she only met one!

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