Monday, January 01, 2007

Buying a comforter

As I have mentioned, buying things here can be really tough. I bought this horribly ugly blanket & sheet set right before I moved into the apartment, because I needed something, but it's started to get kind of cold at night, and since there is no heating or really insulation here, even when it is 55 degrees that can be very cold. So I needed a warmer comforter.

I started going into these local places that sell comforters but they are all really ugly. It's also awkward because I am inevitably the only person in the place, and they're always like, Why didn't you buy something?

But I always see this place on the bus ride to work that said it sells bedding, and it's big, so I thought it would check it out. Once side is called "B&Q" and one side is called "Hola". The other day I rode my bike out there to check it out, and it turns out "B&Q" is exactly like Home Depot, only they sell some cheap & ugly bedding, and "Hola" is exactly like Bed Bath & Beyond. It made me inordinately happy to be in a place that reminded me of Bed Bath & Beyond- you could tell what they sold, and it was all nice, and no one tried to talk to you or explain things to you. And things were arranged in a visually pleasing manner, instead of being crammed into a shelf with a layer of dirt over it.

One weird thing is that they don't sell flat sheets here. Apparently no one uses them. THey sell fitted sheets but not flat sheets.

After that I went to a place just up the road where they sell mattresses and bedding. That was a big mistake. But I also wanted to go to this place up the street that was more locally-owned, so I looked around and decided I didn't want anything, when the saleslady came up to me and started chatting. We started out fine but of course I don't know any bedding terms in Chinese so it turned into this huge thing- I was literally there for 20 minutes, and she kept explaining things and I kept not understanding but then I would understand something (like, 'This one is made from sheep, and this one is made from fake sheep, and it's cheaper) so I'd respond and that would just prolong it. Gah. And I know people in the US are the same way- they think if the speak very loudly and slowly the foreigner will understand. And in Taiwan they think that if they just keep talking about the same thing very quickly, I will understand. But this just is not the case. We could talk about duvet covers until one of us dies and I will never understand it.

So after that I went back to Hola. Ah, it was so American. I think I will go back there many times. I bought my warm comforter. The check-out lady asked me something in Chinese and I was like, sorry, I don't understand, and she said in English, "Do you have a Hola card?" Exactly like America.

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