Easing the apprehension of a bikini
The taxis here are different from New York City cabs.
The driver is separated from the rest of the car by a bulletproof plastic mold; there is only room for the driver to reach up over it to the passenger side to receive the money.
Also, every taxi is a manual transmission, not automatic like many of the cars are in the U.S. The beginning fare for a taxi here is six yuan, but the fare did not even go up when we went to Ei Wu.
The conversion rate is $1.
Ei Wu itself is huge! It consists of three stories and stretches across several blocks. The floors are organized pretty well — clothes in one section, luggage in another, toys on the next floor, etc.
It’s especially interesting to go to Ei Wu, because in every store you can bargain with the shopkeepers. Even food in restaurants you could haggle. A lot of the shopkeepers are stubborn, but if you argue enough you can reach a reasonable price.
The only difficulty I found was because the shopkeepers can see I am Asian, they speak in Chinese very fast, and it’s hard to understand.
After shopping, a couple of us decided to go swimming. The swimming pool is in a stadium a little walk away from campus. Before we went swimming, some of the girls including myself were a little apprehensive about wearing a bikini to the pool — we didn’t know how conservative Chinese women are.
However, Alex told us it didn’t matter what we wore, as long as we wore swimming camps. I thought the girls had to wear swimming caps because of our long hair, but the guys had to wear them too.
When we go to the pool, they separated it into six lanes. There were a lot of people there, but the pool was big enough for people to swim without running into one another.
— Katie Haughey, a junior psychology major