Nipping across the border for a bit of shopping
Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
632Trip End Dec 31, 2011
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It used to be case with China's borders with Macau and Hong Kong. But for a while, during the Olympic period, observers noted a decline in cross-border trade.
And today, it seems it is back to normal, with those traders back in the business of ferrying goods from one side to the other.
It's not all one way, either. My Chinese friends, when I mention I am going to Hong Kong, request cosmetics and perfumes and brand clothing (kinda funny when you can get genuine knockoffs for cheaper in China)
So the other day I was at the Shenzhen=Hong Kong Lo Wu border just before 6.30am and all around me were people with rolley trolleys - all for the purpose of day trading. I stood head and shoulders above little old grannies and wiring old men, each jabbering away, each looking like they do this kind of thing everyday = and they do: up early, cross the border, buy some things, come back, sell them, repeat til tired . . .
So when the barrier was lifted and the Hong Kong exit opened, there was a rush like I'd never seen before, with folk scurrying towards the booths to get out of HK and cross to China. The scramble was made all the more difficult by those trolleys and the short little steps by the lean grandmothers and shrunken old guys.
At duty free, they stocked up on Lucky Strike cigarettes. Not sure what they would buy in Shenzhen. I had heard that things like toilet paper and baby diapers were cheaper in China, and that there were even agents on each side who would buy the goods couriered across and then flick them on . . .