William and Mary Law School

Internet, Confidential Meetings, and Flea Markets

This past week at the office our research efforts hit a wall.  A firewall, to be more precise.  Starting on Monday, almost every website became inaccessible.  Because our research projects require us to find codes, legislation, and cases from other countries, this has been a challenges.  Luckily, I had already downloaded most of the information I needed to write my report and spent the week writing instead of researching.  However, my project teammates have not been able to complete their portions of the report, so we have been unable to move forward.  Needless to say, this has been a little bit frustrating.

Despite the internet's problems bringing the rural property law project to a pause, the pro bono project has begun moving forward.  I accompanied the Director to a meeting, where we discussed my research with another rather famous public interest organization.  But, due to a need for discretion, that is all I am currently able to say.

I am afraid this has been a rather unsatisfying update.  I can, however, go into some detail on my experience at the Pan Jia Yuan Flea Market.  The Pan Jia Yuan Flea Market is an enormous walled in space where people come from the towns and suburbs of Beijing to set up a mat on the ground or a stall and sell their wares.  Here you can find everything from thrones to Ming Dynasty porcelain to Chairman Mao memorabilia to musical instruments to tea sets to paintings.  Some of the things on sale are real antiques and others are fake.  In case you were not sure, I am not an antiques

I am afraid this has been a rather unsatisfying update. I can however go into some detail on my experience at the Pan Jia Yuan Flea Market. The Pan Jia Yuan Flea Market is an enormous walled in space where people come from the towns and suburbs of Beijing to set up a mat on the ground or a stall and sell their wares. Here you can find everything from thrones to Ming Dynasty porcelain to Chairman Mao memorabilia to musical instruments to tea sets to paintings. Some of the stuff on sale are real antiques and others are fake. In case you were not sure, I am not an antiques expert.  However, everything available there is generally of a better quality and cheaper than similar items you might find at more popular tourist sites like the Pearl Market or Silk Street.  I gravitated towards the paintings.  There were paintings on silk scrolls, on canvas, and in glass.  I almost bought a giant glass city scene, but remembered at the last minute that my luggage is only so big and my wallet only so deep.  This is one fo those places where it is easy to get carried away.  It took me about ten minutes to convince myself not to buy an enormous rooster made of porcelain.  For anyone who finds themselves in Beijing, this is a place you must go to.  Bargaining here is fun, but less intense than at other markets.  In fact, while I was trying to get a lower price for a scroll painting, the vendor asked me if I was hungry and offered me some of his lunch.  If not for the heat, I would have stayed there forever.

I'll update again at the week's end.  Finger's crossed the firewall relents.