Happy Sunday, world! 🌏
How is everyone today?
I’m ready for a new week to begin. The temperature has been creeping back up to the high 20’s (I’m not impressed) but is due to crash again thanks to the arrival of another typhoon so I’ll be welcoming the cool weather with open arms – how many more times will this happen before Winter arrives??
Yesterday was a HUGE day in China thanks to the date. Also known as Singles’ Day, 11/11 (Double Eleven) began in 1993 when a group of Chinese students from Nanjing University decided to celebrate the fact that they were single. The date was specifically picked as the number ‘1’ resembles a person being alone – a fact they were proud of.
Over the following years this festival became the largest offline and online shopping day in the world. Yep, even bigger than Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day sales.
The three biggest online retailers in China: Tmall, Taobao & Alibaba, set up crazy discounts for almost any product you could think of. Shoes? Yes. Clothes? Obviously. Furniture, electronics, kids toys and everything in-between?? Deals like you wouldn’t believe! If you wanted to get the best offers we were told again and again you must stay awake until midnight to place your orders because that’s when the sale begins, but that’s apparently easier said than done as everyone has the same idea and it’s likely the websites will crash.
To give you an idea of how crazy this shopping event is, statistics released today show that on just ONE website (Tmall), 1 billion yuan (over 150 million USD) was spent in the first 28 seconds. 28 seconds!!!! On another website (Alibaba) there were 1.48 billion online payment transactions made with 256,000 processed per second at the peak of the sale. I honestly struggle to wrap my head around those numbers. It’s insane! Needless to say we were weak and couldn’t manage to stay up to place any orders/I refused because the whole concept is just crazy to me. I thought that we’d be able to join in once we woke up but the majority of stock on sale was gone. At 08:00.
We’d even heard from someone that their company paid their employees 3 days before Double Eleven so they could join in and do some shopping – it’s a big deal here! Next year I think we’ll plan well in advance to make sure we can make some savings of our own, because who doesn’t love a good bargain?
With all of that excitement now behind the nation I have a feeling Christmas preparations will be well under way. At least that’s what I’m hoping because I’m wanting to feel festive but it’s difficult when there’s a lack of Christmas spirit in the air (besides one of the offices in my husband’s building.. their decorations have been up since LAST Christmas, I was very confused when I walked past it in July) 🎄🎁.
The past week has been pretty average for me. We’ve been spending our weekends exploring a few new parks – both of which had huge lakes and little electric boats available for rent, so of course we had to hire one. It was a lot of fun until the speed began to die down and I was terrified that we’d be stranded. It wasn’t that the lake was so big that people wouldn’t be able to spot us, they could and did see us (we often get some stares but being in a little boat seemed to attract more attention than usual 😂) I just didn’t want to look like an absolute moron screaming for help. Luckily we made it back to dry land, but we did spot one other boat break down.
Enjoy your next online shopping spree, safe in the knowledge that you don’t have to stay up until midnight and you’re not fighting with millions of others to get the best deal.
(P.s. My internet seems to be acting up so I can’t add any photos to my blog tonight ☹️ but if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to lately head over to my Instagram @englishgirlinchina 💕)
Happy Sunday, world! 🌏