Yesterday Dev and I took a three-and-a-half hour train trip to Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, about two hundred miles south of Shanghai. Yiwu is the capital of China's export market. Our hotel was next door to the International Trade City, a ten-million-square-foot center with more than 30,000 stalls displaying wholesale trade samples of almost every imaginable consumer good. The Trade City, in turn, anchors a wider selection of smaller markets and stalls, plus freight companies, customs consults, and other affiliated businesses.

This is the place to find Indian mehndi (henna tattoo) patterns, scissors, inflatable novelty hammers, flashlights, plastic back braces, statues of the Virgin Mary, rain coats, LED signs, hookah pipes, Native American handicrafts, push brooms, fake flowers, Christmas wreaths, and children's backpacks. Yes, and more.

Then we spent a romantic Saturday night at the Aegean Sea Bar in the lobby of the Best Western Hotel in Yiwu, China. Classy.

Check out our
photos here.