Day 242: Hair!

A wig vendor displays colorful wares at the AP Market in Shanghai.

A wig vendor displays colorful wares at the AP Market in Shanghai.

The AP Market in Shanghai is a “fake” market where vendors offer Louis Vuitton handbags, Omega watches, Oakley sunglasses, Beats headphones, Converse sneakers, NFL & MLB jerseys, Adobe and Microsoft software and other luxury items, all of them fake, some of them good counterfeits and some really, really cheap knock-offs. As you wander through the maze-like underground complex it is easy to become disoriented, the aisles of shops curving and slashing diagonally and the stores all sell the same stuff, one bag store looks like every other bag store, one t-shirt shop looks just like the other dozen t-shirt shops. But this is the only wig vendor in the entire complex. I’ve never seen anyone buying anything here and I haven’t seen many people with purple, or yellow or blue hair walking around Shanghai, but I know where to come if I ever need some fake hair.

Day Ninety-One: AP Market aka Fake Market

Bag? Watch? Good price!

Bag? Watch? Good price!

The AP Market is an underground market–literally, it’s underneath Century Park, adjacent to the #2 Metro line, in Pudong–and it offers all sorts of merchandise from knock-off Hunter boots, La Liga soccer jerseys, Converse All*Stars, TOMs, designer watches, jade, prescription eyeglasses, designer handbags and custom made shirts, suits, dresses and coats.

I stopped in here, today, while out on a bike ride (testing a route tracker app for my Windows phone).  Walking down the halls lined with shops, the merchants that aren’t catching a nap, or immersed in their smartphones, hawk their goods,  calling out for you to “take a look.”  The shops that sell purses all seem to have a secret room behind a display wall where they keep “the good stuff.”  Watch sellers keep the illegal knock-offs, like Omega and  Rolex, hidden away at a separate location and will run of to fetch them for you, so if you don’t see what you’re looking for, ask.

Today, I was looking for a NY Mets baseball hat to replace the one that is packed away in storage back in the USA.  I was hoping to get the authentic on field cap in blue, to match the Tom Seaver HOF Jersey I bought last week (180 RMB, ($29 USD),  but despite checking out hundreds of vendors I only located two who even had Mets hats and both of them carried the alternate black cap. I bought the cap for 80 RMB ($13 USD)

While I don’t condone copyright infringement, or counterfeit products (when I’m living in the USA), both practices are  pretty difficult to avoid here in China. (I’m watching a DVD of House of Cards  season 2 –$2 USD for complete season–as I write this)