"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." -Bilbo Baggins

the blue rain boots

the blue rain boots

Once upon a time, on a rainy day in Shanghai, two girls went to the market...

They hopped off the metro a few stops away and turned the corner into an underground shopping center. Rows upon rows of 8'x10' cubes, each one overflowing with whatever product you could imagine: scarves, jackets, shoes, electronics, souvenirs, even prescription glasses. You want it, they've got it. Each one with an eager salesman ready to jump out and start throwing items and numbers at you, hoping you will take the bite and come into their shop. You can turn down all of their items, but they always seem to find something new to offer you.

It was in this tangled, subterranean pawn shop mega mart that one girl realized what she needed was a pair of rain boots for the upcoming stormy week in China. The two tried to quickly leave the shop they were in, but the saleswoman, an apprehensive old lady with midnight black hair, began screaming at them while they walked down the hall. 

When they found the next shoe store they quickly stopped by trying to get away from the screaming woman following them. Then, finally, there they were. The blue short rain boots that one of the girls had been eyeing since their last trip to the market. Her eyes grew wide, imagining how perfect they would look splashing against the cold, grey concrete of Shanghai. Just as she reached to purchase them, disaster struck. There were none in her size in blue, so she had to try on a pair in green. Her friend loved them and decided to get the green pair for herself. The girl who loved the blue rain boots, however, could not be so easily deterred. They quickly entered negotiations with the salesman to get a better deal for buying two. As per usual, his initial offer was nowhere near what they were looking to spend. There was a lot of back and forth, but they finally met an agreeable price. Then, he breaks the news. He says that he needs to call for her blue boots to be brought in… 

Skeptical of this she asked how long it would take. He replied "two minutes." So they agree to wait for 2 minutes… 7 minutes pass. 7 minutes to sit and think about how they should have gone in at a lower dollar amount. 7 minutes to think about how he was taking advantage of the fact that they were two girls clearly looking for rain boots on a rainy day. 7 minutes to think, "We can totally go find another place and get a lower price." 

So, after waiting a bit longer, when there was still no man in sight coming with her boots, the two girls decided to leave and find another shop.

While walking, they pass the store they were in earlier and the saleswoman starts yelling at them again. The girls keep walking. Eyes straight ahead, trying to walk as fast, but as calmly, as possible. Once they thought they were far enough away, they start to relax, only to hear someone yelling at them. It was the rain boot salesman. They immediately began to run around the corner, trying to escape. However, they ran past a clear wall so he was able to catch them on the other side...

Still yelling at the girls, they sheepishly walked back with him to his store. He tried to tell them that they needed to wait until he got back to the store with the boots before they could leave. When they finally reached the store, they learned that the boots were STILL not there. At this point, the 2 minutes she was supposed to wait had turned into 15. She made it very clear to the man that she was on a time crunch and that she could not wait any longer for the boots and that she had been waiting well over the 2 minutes… 

He turned around and walked away. 

While the girls were patiently waiting, a Polish man and his son entered the shop. He could see that they are having a difficult time with the salesman and asked how much they were paying for the boots. When they told him the price, he started explaining to them how they should only be paying half of that and they should not settle for that price (especially after having to wait for so long.) The salesman's wife caught on to what the polish man was telling them and she quickly kicked him and his son out of the store.

When the boots finally arrived, the girls felt entitled to a lower price since he made them wait longer than he originally told them. The heated negotiations began again. After a lot of back and forth, the girls put their foot down. They gave him the money they were willing to pay. He was not happy, but that was that. He gave them their boots and they left.

The most stressful boot buying ever.

Qibao Old Town, Shanghai, China

Qibao Old Town, Shanghai, China

Dangerous Business: Shanghai

Dangerous Business: Shanghai