Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 8 - Part II - The Mall

Yes, there are Malls in Beijing… and they look strangely familiar.  But the drugstores are quite different.

"...I'd have to go with that repository of human greed and debasement, the mall." - Daria
"Very good Daria, the mall is a beautiful illustration of all these economic principles.  In fact it would make for an excellent field trip." - Mrs. Bennet 

It was shiny, windowless, and full of designer labels – familiar & strange, and the prices were pretty darn close to US comparable.  Food court and everything!

No, Tavin, we are not getting mall sushi, not even Chinese mall sushi.  Or Burger King.  Or Dairy Queen.  I just can’t.

They had those small stalls in the middle with smaller merchants (much like the carts you find around here.)  Thank goodness, there I was able to find a few nifty things that were made in China, but didn’t look like the stuff already sent to the US of A!  And like in NY, London & Boston, (and Tokyo... I would discover in just a few days) plenty of access to the subway.

I figured this would be my best chance find find western style cough medicine.  No drug store here – yet there was, in the shiniest department anchor store.  Good thing, the Pharmacists spoke some English.  They chided me for my son having a runny nose (one even took a tissue out of her pocket, wiped his nose and looked at me – meaningfully).  And then looked confused (incredulous?) that I was in search of medicine for myself.

I weathered the cloud burst of disapproval and managed to get Robatussin.  I was very relieved.  Good news, it did stop me coughing at night.  Bad news, as long as I didn’t lie down.  This should have been a sign.  Denial is a powerful, powerful thing.

Oh and for a quick last glance at how cold it is all winter in Beijing – this is how to pimp your ride.

Notice the attractive packing-tape trim

*For those of you wondering why I didn’t explore traditional Chinese medicine.  Exhaustion and Cowardice.  I didn’t know where to start, and was rationing my energy to keep the trip on track, so lacked the energy to figure out how, who to ask, or where to follow up.  With a guide I most likely would have gone for it, but I also would have had to admit how sick I really was.  And that is where I was being a coward.

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