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|BEIJING ? It's while consuming my post-midnight training snack of hops and barley that the realization strikes: It's time to stop spectating and start competing.
Time to channel my inner Kobe and enter the fray. Time Carli Lloyd USA Jersey , of course, to visit this city's famous Silk Market.
The Silk Market is a six-floor shopping center where the games away from the Games occur. It's where the competitive ? and often physical ? sport known as bargaining plays out with alternately smiling and pushy clerks, who grab you to give a "special price for a special friend" on everything from [fake] Rolex watches to Ralph Lauren shirts to Sony electronics.
This is no Olympic sport, which is just as well because even if medals were awarded, they could be fake gold. But it certainly is an exhibition.
"Your wife is very beautiful, but your price is very ugly Becky Sauerbrunn USA Jersey ," a 20-year-old clerk named Alia says to Orland Park resident Paul Janik.
Janik is the uncle of Bradley Guzan, starting goalie for the U.S. men's soccer team and a Providence Catholic graduate. His wife, Carla, is engaged in a healthy debate over the correct price for a multicolored scarf that may or very well may not be silk.
It isn't going well. After initial smiles, Alia clearly isn't messing around. In fact, shortly after calling the Janiks "my favorite people" and offering "a special price just for you" in solid English Alyssa Naeher USA Jersey , Alia is frowning.
"You're my first customer, and you want to kill me," Alia says. "You will drive me out of business."
As Michael Phelps knows, any dream worth pursuing isn't easy. Emboldened by the Janiks' exchange, I take a deep breath and dive into the deep end of electronics. I need a microphone for my laptop. The degree of difficulty on this purchase? Somewhere around 3.5. But no smiling clerk is going to stop me from talking to my wife and two sons when I call home via the Internet.
At the first booth at which I slightly slow my pace to peruse, I'm pulled in. A smiling clerk offers to sell a pair of "Sony" headphones and microphone for 190 yuan Allie Long USA Jersey , or roughly $27.
Most guidebooks and market veterans suggest countering with a price 10 percent of the opening offer and work only slightly upward.
Clerks punch in prices on calculators and then turn them over for customers to counter. I offer 19. She asks if I mean "American dollars." When I say "yuan," she throws up her hands and turns her back on me.
Even I can translate this. She's annoyed.
She then asks for my final price, which of course never is. I come back with 22 yuan.
The clerk points to the next booth, which translates to: You're wasting my time. But I'm not, because as I start to walk away, she asks for my "final Ali Krieger USA Jersey , final price." I move to 28 yuan.
She drops to 50 yuan. I hold at 28 and start to walk away, which is when she gives me her "yes-or-no price" of 40 yuan. The "yes-or-no" price is typically the tipping point, when the purchase either happens or does not.
Not for me, not at 40 yuan. I walk away again. That's when the clerk says she will take "35 of my money." Sold.
I feel like the original Dream Team from Barcelona in 1992 crushing Angola. A pair of, ahem, "Sony" headphones and microphone for about $5.
The Janiks also are making headway. Alia had opened their gamesmanship by stating one scarf could be sold for 450 yuan Alex Morgan USA Jersey , or roughly $65. Within one counteroffer, Alia had dropped to 350 yuan, a reduction of roughly $15.
The clerk then said further discounts would occur should Carla purchase two. Janik, displaying a steely reserve that might make her nephew proud, isn't swayed.
"Let me think about it," Janik says. "I have more shopping to do."
Paul Abby Smith USA Jersey , initially there merely as a "tagalong," joins the competition.
"Tell her to throw in a free hat," he says.
This clearly displeases Alia, who grabs his umbrella in retaliation. The Janiks, here in a contingent of 19 Guzan family members, are competing as intensely as their nephew.
More haggling ensues. Finally Abby Dahlkemper USA Jersey , two scarves for 350 yuan, roughly $25 apiece. Alia is smiling now and even poses for a picture with her customer. But she isn't coughing up any free hat. Paul does not medal in this game.
The Janiks head off in search of leather purses. I head to my hotel to test my headphones.
The best part is they actually work, at least for now. Gold!
NEW YORK， Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices settled mixed on Monday as crude output outlook remains unclear.
Analysts said there were few headlines to influence the market and that investors are still unsure whether an increase in U.S. shale production would offset the output cut from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the next six months.
The West Texas Intermediate for January Delivery added 0.22 dollars to settle at 52.12 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange， while Brent crude for February delivery dropped 0.29 dollars to close at 54.92 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
XINING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Electric heating now covers MadoiCounty in northwest China's Qinghai Province, local authoritiessaid Monday.
Located at the source of Yellow River, Madoi County has anaverage elevation above 4 Replica USA Womens Soccer Jerseys ,500 meters. The heating period in Madoilasts for 11 months every year.
People living in the urban areas used to burn coal, whileherdsmen used to burn cow and sheep dung for heating, said ZhangQiang, deputy county head.
"At high altitude, coal cannot burn efficiently, resulting inserious pollution Custom USA Womens Soccer Jerseys ," Zhang added.
With the help of the provincial government and the State Grid,Madoi County became a clean energy pilot county in plateau areaslast year.
All 13 coal-fired boilers in the urban area were taken out ofservice. and 33 electric boilers have been established.
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