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A Shopping Spree
   2014-11-05 11:09:43    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Qin Mei

November 11 is a date made up of four ‘ones’, and "Double Eleven" (双11) , known as Bachelor's Day (光棍节guāng gùn jié), has always been considered a special day for single men and women in China. Six years ago, the internet retailer Alibaba began promoting the day as a shopping festival. This year, millions of shopping lovers are preparing for the shopping spree (购物狂欢节gòu wù kuáng huān jié) several days ahead of time.  


            

           zuó wǎn áo yè le
Simon: 昨晚熬夜了?
            Did you stay up last night?
        
               wǒ wǎng gòu le hǎo duō yī fú zhēn shì pián yi
Huihui:我网购了好多衣服,真是便宜。
              I bought many clothes online, and they were really cheap.

             dàn shì  yī fēn qián, yī fēn huò ā
Simon:但是“一分钱一分货”啊。
             But you only get what you pay for.

            méi bàn fǎ guò le zhè cūn jiù méi zhè diàn er le
Huihui: 没办法,过了这村就没这店(儿)了。
           I have no choice. If I let this opportunity slip away, I will never catch it again.

There are two new words featured in the above dialogue. "熬夜(áo yè)", composed of the characters "熬” (to endure) and "夜” (night), means "to stay up late or all night". "网购” (wǎng gòu), comprising the characters "网” (internet) and "购” (to purchase), means "to purchase (goods) online."

一分钱 (yī fēn qián) means one cent; 一分货 (yī fēn huò) means one cent of merchandise. Therefore, "一分钱一分货" is a Chinese phrase similar to the English phrase “you get what you pay for.” In the dialogue, it is taken to mean that inexpensive products are low-quality. In another instance, if you inquire about the price of something when shopping in China, and the shopkeeper gives you a much higher price than you expect; you can say "it is too expensive (太贵了)", then you may hear the response "一分钱一分货", which means quality goods come with a high price.

"没办法"(méi bàn fǎ ) means "There’s nothing I can do about it". In the dialogue, the term is used to mean that Hui hui is unable to control herself when it comes to shopping online till midnight. Hui hui’s reason for doing so is, "过了这村就没这店了"(guò le zhè cūn jiù méi zhè diàn le), literally meaning "If you miss this village, you won't be able to stay at the next inn;" used in this instance to refer to the rare opportunity of buying cheap goods online.

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