On the morning of our second day in Beijing, we went to the Panjiayuan Flea Market, which seems to be one of the best places to shop if you're looking for something to bring home from China. We only spent a couple of hours there, but I could've probably spent an entire afternoon there digging for treasures.
There were a number of shops with these little (and big) boxes. I picked up the one I liked best:
There was a guy who had the best selection of metal wind up toys. I had a hard time picking my favorites - and ones small enough to pack - and ended up coming home with this little robot man (who, unfortunately doesn't actually work...boo) and this motorcycle guy (who does work) and also a little frog that he gave me for free. Which, I hate frogs, but this one is pretty funny to watch.
One thing I was really hoping to find was some original propaganda posters (we spent a good amount of time in my history of Graphic Design class studying these posters) from the Cultural Revolution. Unfortunately, I didn't find any originals (I did see some new ones. Totally not the same), but I did find some old ad posters. Jen (my brother in law's girlfriend) and I both bought this beautiful cigarette ad from the 1930's. I'm pretty sure it's original, and if it is, it's all the more impressive that it actually survived the Cultural Revolution.
On our last morning in Beijing, we took our friends to the Silk Market which is basically a 6 story building stuffed full of all of the knock off crap that you hear about getting in China. I lasted all of 10 minutes in there before having a bit of a panic attack, so Herman ushered me out and over to a nearby Starbucks where I caught my breath and found this adorable tiny little Starbucks mug. Yup, that's a quarter next to it. I love it!