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Market Day

For the last 2 years, we’ve lived in 90 square meters.

One would think that this situation would be the perfect opportunity to downsize.

We did.

A new season in life brought a few additional changes as well. After Senna’s birth, I no longer needed to keep my pregnancy clothes. I no longer needed to store 0-3 month baby clothes. In fact, I no longer needed to keep all those in-between sizes – not pregnancy clothes, but also not my true size.

So I started making a pile of everything we didn’t love or use often.

That pile grew and grew.

I gave stuff away. (At times, I might have forced people to take items from our home.)

I listed pregnancy clothes and baby items in a provincial newsletter that goes out to the entire expat community in Yunnan.

And yet, there was still stuff that we didn’t need.

This morning, after the rained stopped, we went down to our local market and set up a tarp. At first, people just looked at us. When they realized that we could speak Chinese, it was like the floodgates opened. We were swarmed.

It was intense.

I had some clothes on hangers, most of the clothes I had in bags or boxes. I quickly learned that the locals were not interested in the hanging clothes. They wanted to dig through the bags.

Most items went for 2-3 rmb. Quite a few went for 1rmb.

The point was not to make money. The point was to downsize.

Things were stolen. Everyone was crowding around and it was hard to keep track of who was grabbing what and who had paid. There was about an hour that was super crowded.

One person paid us in fake money. She bought five rmb worth of clothes and gave us 100rmb – taking our real 95rmb back in change.

Hubs decided that she must have really needed that money. I decided that she figured out how to pull a quick on on the foreigners. (Note: if you ever do this type of sale, just avoid all 100 and 50 rmb bills. They are the fake ones.)

Probably my favorite moment of the day was when an old Grandma asked me how much a newborn’s hair band was.

Nai Nai: How much is this?
Me: 1 rmb
Nai Nai: Will you take 9 mao?
Me: No. I don’t have any mao to give you in change. It’s 1 rmb.

At the end of 3 hours, we were down to one box so we loaded it up and went home for lunch and naps all around.

Feeling guilty for making Schäfer help us sell stuff, asking Sianna and Selah to sit on a stool, and containing poor Senna in the Ergo on Hubs back, we took our kids to the Pirate Park for some super fun play. Then, we treated the kids to hamburgers at a new-to-us local restaurant called Serendipity. Finally, we squeezed in one final ice cream at Dairy Talk before the cold weather sets in.

Today was a good day.

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