I normally do a lot more looking than buying when I’m out shopping, but excelled myself on the weekend. Helen and I began with a trip to the “Western Clothing” market, near the old Guangzhou railway station. Enroute, we passed a number of large buildings that claimed to be clothing markets as well, though how we will find the time to check them out is anyone’s guess.

A colleague had told us that it was possible to buy fur-lined Crocs (the 21st Century Ug boot?) for around the house, so we did this straight away. We then went our separate ways, for several hours. I was after a suit coat or two for school. Each time I saw something suitable, they either did not have my size, or I had to buy 100, minimum. I did get a couple of nice windcheaters for weekends. I tend to get overwhelmed by the quantity and variety of stuff after a while.

Shopping in the local village is far more interesting, for me. I have wandered the streets and alleys a lot in the past 7 weeks, but haven’t even scratched the surface. Yesterday afternoon, the weather was good enough for us to venture out, aided by polyfleece jackets that Helen had procured at the Teem Mall in the morning. (Her opinion was that it was better quality, and value, than the markets.)

It was a highly successful trip. We purchased fruit and vegetables at the wet market, some connectors at the TV repair shop, flowers, a doona for the floor of the cat’s room and a bottle of purportedly-Australian red wine. The piece de resistance was a small shop which sold winter underwear – long-sleeved T-shirts and long johns, for ~AU$6. Mind you, the first pair I pulled out of a packet looked like they’d already been worn.

A couple of blokes came on Saturday afternoon and installed a satellite dish. We can now watch the Australian news, amongst other things. I now have to get them to come back and change the output to PAL, so it is compatible with the DVD recorder. We did watch a bit of an old “Oils” concert, last night, which was very good, even though I still don’t really like the Environment Minister’s old stage antics.

The weather is marginally less cold. The wind dropped enough for us to have a glass of the red out on the terrace for about 20 minutes. It still is too cold to walk or run before work.

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