Category Archives: Shopping

Inspiration – Deco ideas for fall

Every year, Alex and I ask ourselves the same question:

Can we improve the decoration of our apartment?

Obviously, as a student who doesn’t have much money, the answer is always yes, but is it realistic to say that we should? After all, it’s not a necessity to live in a well decorated house when most of your money goes to rent, studies and food. So I dream. And I get amazed in front of these wonderful ideas IKEA brings to the table.

OK, I may not want to live with 6 people in the same room, even with the curtains for “intimacy”… It kind of sucks…

Or this tiny 330 squared-feet apartment in Hong Kong transforming into 24 different rooms.

And that freaking 100$ Norden bench that would look so nice as a coffee table in my tiny living room and for which I try to save money.NORDEN Bench – IKEA

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Inspiration – Paintings

Composition VIII - Kandinsky (WebMuseum Paris) Composition VIII – Kandinsky

Painting at Pompidou Centre (2007) – Unknown painter

La Trahison des images - Magritte La Trahison des images – Magritte (one of my favourite painters)

La  Desserte rouge – Matisse

Shanghai and Shopping – Fake markets

During our trip in Shanghai, we had to do what every stupid tourist does: risk our lives and wallets in the so-called fake markets. I’m still not quite sure why we went there, because every time I try to bargain and negotiate a price, I always feel… scammed…

For example, I’m so used to pay 20$ in Canada for a cardigan that my scale for negotiations is too high, when I should expect no more than 5$ for a fake or stolen cardigan from “Zara” at the fake market… I should do what every normal local would do: not even step a foot inside the building. Not even worth the headache you endure converting the price and bargain.

Let’s also mention fake DVDs: it’s harder to find real DVDs than fake ones. I actually didn’t find any real DVDs, since all the video clubs I went to have fake ones. Quality is not very consistent and even if the box mentions Blu-Ray, there’s no actual Blu-Ray available in these shops. We managed to find the whole Miyazaki collection for 200 RMB with a very well made box and more than 20 DVD and OST. For 12RMB (not even 2$), you can buy any other individual DVD.

Also, about discounts in “normal” stores: in Canada (and generally in Western countries), we usually show the percentage that is removed from the original price. In China, it’s the other way around: they show the final price, what’s left after the discount. Let’s say I have 30% off for a shirt, they’ll write down 7.0. Or if you see 4.8, it actually means 52% off.

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At the restaurant next to the market we went, I decided to take the classical Shanghainese fish and noodle soup.

Alexandre, in his case, decided to take the stupidest thing he could find: Western-style udon noodles…

Stupid and very… weird… I love udon noodles as much I love bacon and cheese. But I was not convinced by the odd mix the chef decided to create. There was celery, shrimp, ham, a lot of cheese, fake crab (pollock) and it was accompanied by miso soup and marinated vegetables. Good… but very strange.

However, it seems the Canadian tourists we met at the restaurant loved it…