Friendship Store Number One, Beijing

Beijing Friendship Store Facade

Friendship Store Number One–Located in the Diplomatic quarter (or segment of one of the ring roads that lassos the city) features a conglomeration of merchandise–many of which at this juncture are themed to the Olympic Games. You remember–‘One World-One Dream‘–don’t tuck that little red book away just yet.

Turtle Kite from the Friendship Store

We loved the variety of kites–truly amazing fare. We probably would have hunted more down, but just try shopping with a guy (any guy) needless to say, we kept it to a dull roar. Just as well, they sport an incredibly antiquated manner (I was waiting for someone to whip out an abacus) of ringing up the tab. Each item is written on a separate chit of paper –then added, re-added, signed off on, and spindled. The entire process (all $72.00 that I spent in RMB) took about a half hour to complete. It might be easier to train and qualify for the actual Olympic teams than it is to settle the bill and leave with your souvenirs.

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