Challenge 3: ACCOMPLISHED!

Posted by Adrian on August 3, 2010 under Challenges | 6 Comments to Read

Map updated!

Challenge 3: Sell souvenirs to Chinese tourists.

Where better to find tourists than at the Great Wall of China?! Jiayuguan Fort in Gansu province marks the last outpost of the Great Wall. Historically it was the last stronghold of Imperial China; the end of the “civilised world” and the start of the “Central Asian wilderness” inhabited by barbarian armies and desert demons.

Today it’s a major tourist attraction and the perfect place for us to tackle our next challenge. But there was one problem…we had nothing to sell!

We wandered around the impressive site, wondering whether to try and ask to work at one of the souvenir stalls, when suddenly we stumbled across an idea. In a square, in front of one of the fort’s ancient buildings, was a small business where people could pay to dress up in traditional costumes and have their photos taken in front of the fort. Perfect! We offered to dress up as ancient Chinese warriors and let tourists pay to have their photos taken with us! Any profits would go to the stall owner.

After A LOT of persuading, the lady owner agreed to our idea! Minutes later we were wandering around the fort complex dressed in gold and silver armour and wielding axes and swords. Amazingly, almost immediately we had our first customers: 2 girls from Sichuan province who were on their holiday. We asked them if they wanted us to be “serious or friendly”? “Serious” they shouted and we put on our best warrior faces.

Everywhere we went we were followed by the stall owner with her camera. With each photo taken, she led our customers away to her tent to buy the picture. At 10 Yuan (1 pound or $1.50) each, they were nothing less than a bargain!

Despite it being lunchtime and the hottest part of the day, there was a steady trickle of tourists that came through and it didn’t take us long to reach our target of 100 Yuan (to put that into perspective, the average monthly wage in China is about 1750 Yuan). The stall owner could not have been happier!

With the challenge successfully completed, it was time to go home…but we’d had such a good morning that we didn’t want the fun to end! Instead of leaving we offered to work at one of the souvenir stalls by the fort’s main entrance. The first lady we asked, Miss Hu, agreed enthusiastically and we immediately got to work again. The diverse items sold at the stall included:

  • Chairman Mao’s little red book
  • Ginseng roots
  • A very long sword
  • Jade bracelets
  • Skin whitening cream

We both picked a specialty item and went out to sell it to the Chinese tourists. Albert chose cowboy hats and Adrian went for a stuffed camel. Albert targeted adults and made an immediate sale for more than the minimum price (strange to be on this side of bargaining for once!). In contrast, Adrian targeted small children and only served to scare them. As he bent down to show his camel to one young boy, the child weed all over his feet.

With the intense heat starting to finally get to us, we set ourselves the target of working at the stall for one hour. As our deadline approached, Albert had successfully sold 2 hats (for a total of 25 Yuan) but Adrian had somehow only managed to sell a small ceramic dog for 2 Yuan. With no camels sold, he upped his efforts and preyed on a young guy to buy one for his girlfiend. Finally he agreed and he sold it for the rock bottom price of 8 Yuan.

We said goodbye to the very happy Miss Hu and spent the rest of the day cycling to various points along the great wall feeling very pleased with ourselves.



6 Comments on “Challenge 3: ACCOMPLISHED!”

  • Ana said,

    The”ancient warriors”reminds me of my traveling in Hunan province before graduation.We put on local costumes and have our photos taken.
    the “serious”warriors are truly funny.Haha!

    Aug 5, 2010

  • Edward said,

    In “Albert towers…” Albert looks like a giant from an old Star Trek episode.

    Aug 5, 2010

  • Marie said,

    The warriors are priceless. Good show!

    Aug 5, 2010

  • Sunshine said,

    Two lovely warriors!

    Aug 6, 2010

  • Rebecca said,

    I love the ancient warrior footwear!

    Aug 6, 2010

  • Cheney said,

    WowWWW..Those worrior clothes worn on u two were fantastic.Besides,it looked like u went back to the ancient times,huhhhh..The Great Wall in JiaYuGuan were a bit different from that in BeiJing.Did u climb to the top of it?

    Aug 7, 2010

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