I haven’t written anything in what seems to be a longer than anticipated time. In part, I haven’t been feeling great, and I’ve also been in the process of getting into a new apartment, a great step forward from life within the hostel.
I did, however, get the chance to go to Beijing’s electronics district, Zhongguancun, a mind-numbingly large complex with every kind of digital device you can possibly imagine. I had dropped my phone the night before, and the touch screen was no longer recognizing my movements. Having heard that it would not cost very much to get fixed, this seemed like an interesting afternoon trip.
I was nothing short of impressed as I watched the guy at one of the stalls pull my phone apart, spend about 10 minutes ungluing and reconnecting the inner workings, and then handing me a perfectly repaired device. I was very nervous about having such a repair done, in part because it involved taking the phone apart, but also because I only cost about twenty American dollars total. Back in the US, I think I would have been hard pressed to find someone who could repair the phone so readily. In China, I was surrounded by a dozen individuals, all of whom were able to repair any model of phone handed to them. I asked if I could take a picture as the man worked his magic, and he simply grinned, and responded, “It would be better if you didn’t”.
I did not go through the entire market, but I spent quite a bit of time cruising through the level that sells phones. I’m guessing that there were two or three acres of floor space entirely given to mobile devices, the vast majority of which being iPhones and Androids. This article is sparse on pictures, as I quickly discovered that people here were not okay with the sight of a camera. A few people offered to help me fix the thing, and everyone else quickly put their hand up. In a market that sells no small amount of black and grey market goods, it is sometimes best to keep the pictures that live in your mind.
If you ever have need of a phone repair, need to purchase any kind of digital device, or simply want an entertaining afternoon, Zhongguancun is a good time. Just take subway 4 to the Zhongguancun stop, and you will be in the heart of electronics heaven.
That all for now, potentially going on an interesting day trip tomorrow, but I’ll let you know how that goes.