Friday, July 11, 2008

Xian Purchases

When we travel, we usually buy some goodies. Here are the best ones from Xian.

A hand-painted fan:

Many Chinese women wear jade bracelets on their left wrists (close to the heart). It is thought that the jade holds important minerals that will leach into the wearer and provide good health and vitality. When we visited the terra cotta warriors, nearby was the Li mountain from which highly prized jade is excavated. I purchased a black jade bracelet. I am not too fond of the green color of traditional jade, but I like the black of this Li jade. It is dark because it is mined very deep in the mountain and is supposed to have even more healing powers than traditional jade. I love how it looks black on the wrist but is actually a rich green.

We visited an antiques market where many vendors sold "old" things simply spread on a blanket on the ground. I bought this metal cicada which the vendor claimed was very old. I don't know what it is for or if it is actually old, but I really like it. I have always been fascinated with cicadas, and I enjoy the metal work of this piece.

Erik bought this old political poster at the antiques market.

To buy anything from a street vendor, you need to barter vigorously. One way to get a great price is to genuinely not want the item. I looked at some paper cuttings and inquired about the price, but decided I didn't really want one. As I walked away, the vendor kept reducing the price with each step and finally offered a price 1/10 of the original quote. Of course, I couldn't resist this intricately cut piece (dinner plate sized) when it was only $1.00.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like you are having an amazing time. We miss you both!
What great experiences you both are having though!
Have a great day!
Keri and family