Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Place

The Place or 世贸天阶 Shi Mao Tian Jie (literally “World Business Celestial Slice” ?!!) has the world's longest LED screen: 250m long and 30m wide (820ft x 100ft). It cost RMB 250 million (25 million euros/US$32 million) and they hope it will become an icon of Beijing (So now you know it). But what makes The Place so welcoming for the Westerners (apart from a Starbucks and an English language book shop) is the new Zara store.

Today was the opening (youpi), and every westerner (at least the ones I know) is over excited by the News. We can finally shop at a reasonable price (ok not dirt cheap like some other places around here) but for good quality clothes where the sizes are not restricted to mini, micro and midget (I, myself, went from a size 2 in the States to a size XL in China!!!). Ok it takes out all the fun from bargaining but at least you don’t have to resign yourself to buying that polo shirt with an upside down logo after 2 hours of hard negotiation for a 20 kuai (2 euros) discount. The only problem I foresee is that we will all end up with the same wardrobe and pretty soon the local market will probably sell some Zara rip-offs at a fraction of the price!!!

The Place and the LED
(Only working at Night!!)

The Store (!)

This is what it looks like when the screen is on:

Sharks attack