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What's in your purse? Handbag horoscopes in Shanghai
Five Shanghai ladies open up their handbags -- and lives -- to reveal little lessons about life in in the city
Although a woman's purse is usually a very private place, finding out what’s inside gives us the inside scoop on daily life in Shanghai from highs (a day at the pool) to buys (hats off to the Nokia E71 marketing team, it seems Shanghai has gotten your message).
We stopped five women on the street in Shanghai and asked, "What’s in your purse?"
Name: Summer He Yan
Job: University student
What’s in your purse? “I just went shopping for a new bikini from Gujin. I'm going to the pool today. What else is in my bag? Skin Aqua UV spray, Scandisk USB, hair tie, sun umbrella, tissues, pen, phone, wallet, Revlon makeup compact and keys."
Lesson learned? Umbrellas and sunblock -- you can't take sun protection lightly.
Name: Aegean Gu
Job: Graphic designer
What’s in your purse? "What’s my favorite item in my bag? My hand fan. My mom bought it for me as a present from Tokyo, when she went there to visit. I also never go out without my SPF 30 sunblock. What else is in there? My very old phone, sunglasses, Anna Sui mirror from Hong Kong, a pen, comb, fold-up umbrella (good for rain or shine), iPod to block out the noise, Sony PSP (for entertainment on the metro), red Gucci wallet and Louis Vuitton bag from Hong Kong."
Lesson learned? Hong Kong is still Shanghai's preferred shopping destination (tour guides aside) for high-end and luxury goods, even though most brands have major outlets in Shanghai.
Name: Julia Reiger
Job: Marketing supervisor
What’s in your purse? Nothing exciting -- metro card, headache tablets (the car honking in Shanghai alone will do you in), lip gloss, sunglasses, wallet, pen, mascara, comb, wallet, mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrush, keys, GQ, (a colleague lent it to me -- yes, girls like reading guys mags!), Chinese Buzz Words book (quite funny to read), Nokia E71 and Avene Thermal Water spray. The bag is from H&M (RMB 160, Jialidu Building, 645-659 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Sinan Lu 淮海中路645-659号嘉丽都大厦, 近思南路).
Lesson learned? As the the boy scouts say: be prepared. Turn your purse into a first aid kit. From traffic-induced headaches to heat stroke, Shanghai can throw anything at you.
Name: Christina Han
What’s in your purse? I wouldn't go out the door without a few certain things -- it's a security issue. At the moment, I'm reading "The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Every Day Enigmas" by Robert H. Frank. Bought it for RMB 10 from a man with a tricycle cart. The bag? Salvatore Ferragamo -- Chinese New Year sales -- from Lane Crawford. What else? Cherry tomatoes -- my daily vegetable intake from Family Mart inside the Bund Center, Phoenix Almond Lotion (my mom got me hooked on it), Rimmel concealer -- for the bad days -- from Boots in London, H&M sunglasses and my Nokia E71. The phone of choice around here. The wallet I stole from my dad -- complete with a money clip.
Lesson learned? Cheap reads are everywhere in Shanghai -- as long as you catch the book cart in time. Our favorite book street? Donghu Lu.
Name: Juliette McCawle
Job: Filmmaker, scriptwriter and photographer
What’s in your purse? "I carry my small camera with me everywhere just in case, and sometimes, like today, two cameras. Other bag staples: knock-off glasses, iPod with my favorite TV shows downloaded on it, a digital filmmaking book (I still have much to learn), a matchbox from South Beauty (my favorite restaurant), a pink change purse, keys, metro card, makeup compact and patchwork wallet from the fake market on Nanjing -- but it's actually real... I think."
Lesson learned: This city is in a constant state of flux, you'll need fast fingers (and a camera on hand) to capture it all. Find out what to do with that camera in "Essential Shanghai photos that don’t involve the Pearl Tower"