Little boxes

Online shopping is big business here. Recently it was singles’ day, 11.11 where online stores like Taobao had big sales. At the university, there is a special area for 快递 (kuài dì – express deliveries). It’s quite clever really – items are delivered and put in lockers, and then the person who bought the items gets a text with a code. You go to the lockers, enter the code and bingo! The locker opens with your items inside. This means you don’t have to wait for the delivery person to come, but you can pick them up when you need them. For larger items, there is a room where bigger things are stored, which is manned.

Day or night, it seems like there are always packages waiting to be unloaded. At the time of singles’ day, I didn’t have a Taobao account (I do now), so I didn’t buy anything. But you can find (practically) anything on Taobao and, if you can read Chinese, then it is very convenient to use.

A Chinese friend bought something on Taobao for me (an air purifier), though it hasn’t arrived yet. Although the website is all in Chinese, you can search in English and if you translate what it says, you’re good to go. Because I haven’t bought anything yet, I don’t know how the process will go, but knowing me and technology, I think perhaps it will be a challenge! One can only wait and see.

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