Fresh baked “Fong Bao” from the oven – 方包出爐

Random musings & meditations straight from the oven. Hopefully some food for thought as well…

Black Friday – 黑色星期五

Over the summer I read a report that suggested this year’s Black Friday could be quite interesting due to the slow recovery of the U.S. retail sector. With that in mind, I decided a trip was in order. At first, Pie Pie Lo was not convinced but soon warmed up to the idea of crossing the border. That being said we were not crazy enough to be part of the midnight madness crowd.

So instead we left the house around 6:30am thinking there would be a long wait across the border. To our surprise, 20 minutes was all it took, with the help of the duty free store at the Truck crossing. The drive down south was a cautious one as the Washington state troopers were out in full force, taking advantage of all the bargain hunters speeding towards their destinations. At one point, we thought we got caught but to our relief the trooper decided to stop the car in front of us. Whew!

Once we arrived at our first stop, Pie Pie Lo and I methodically went to the stores on our list and looked for the things we wanted to get along with bargains that were too good to pass up. In all, we spent time at 4 places – Seattle Premium, Alderwood mall, Nordstrom Rack and Bellis Fair – and managed to achieve our objectives with a few pleasant surprises. Not bad for 14 hours of “work”.

*******

A few observations from this trip:

– Nordstrom Rack is AWESOME! (Even though I didn’t really buy anything there this time.)

– As much as I complain about the declining quality of Vancouver drivers, at least they still demonstrate a sense of courtesy, in most cases, toward other drivers. American drivers are a different breed. At one point while waiting to get out of the Nordstrom Rack parking lot, Pie Pie Lo and I were both shocked and amused to see how selfish some of our American friends were. Suffice to say that everyone could have gone out of the parking lot a little bit sooner if a little common sense was applied.

– What is it about Chinese food at the shopping malls and outlets? Every food court we went to, the longest queue is always the one for the Panda Expresses and the Man Chu Woks of the world. And it’s not just Caucasians. I saw African Americans, South Americans, East Indians, Filipinos, Koreans and CHINESES all lining up for sweet & sour pork and “chicken fried lice”. If Chinese food is not the most popular food in the world, I don’t know what is.

– For some reason Asians like to ask a lot of questions…….at the check out counter?!

– Make sure you have room in your vehicle before you purchase a big ticket item like a, ahem…., 56” TV?!

– Expect the unexpected.

– If you buy something at home, ask about and take advantage of the refund and exchange policy. It could come in handy in the future as well as saving you some money when you’re abroad.

– Oh, did I mention Nordstrom Rack is AWESOME?

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