Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shopping China Style

With the Paralympics now over, and containers packed it is time to catch up on some stuff before we head to Beijing for the closing ceremony. I'll do a seperate post on the event as a whole and our time out here, but today I was on a mission.

My workshop is pretty well sorted, but one thing I've been lacking for a while is a vacuum pump. I'd been told that ebay was the place to find one, but I've struggled so far. Then I saw the RYA had a shiny new one out here in our pimped up workshop container....

So after a long day of container packing (not helped by the very late night last night!) I headed into Qingdao. Not that this was an ordinary shopping trip though. I had a private driver, and an interpreter! Just didn't know were to buy vacuum pumps in town though. But I had a picture of one to point at! A great feature of this town though is that they have streets of all the same type of shop, so we headed to 'tool street' Renmin road, and after a few phone calls to a mate of the driver we'd tracked down a tool shop that could have what we were after! Lots of pointing at the picture and discussions later it was looking promising and I was shown an example of one he'd be able to get me. So while I dived off to a cashpoint machine, one was being delivered to the shop! The shop owner and numerous assistants then plugged it in to show it all worked, and then got one of his guys to take it to our car.
Quite a succesful mission, if not a slightly weird experience.

I wish I'd had more time to investigate the whole street as there are so many cool shops. If you wanted ball bearings, you could got to the bearing shop, or wheels, how about the shop with nothing but caster wheels?

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