Some Things Are the Same All Over
We went to the "audio district" of GuangZhou—in China, all shops of similar character tend to group together, so the audio district is where all the hi-fi shops are. Actually, they're there twice: many store have display showrooms in the central mall and listening rooms ranked along a nearby alley.
EMG, or Elegant Music Garden, was probably the fanciest of the lot. It had an illuminated display floor and various bits of gear displayed like museum pieces all about the lobby. The listening rooms were up a grand staircase.
We were there in the middle of the afternoon and the place was deserted. About six sales staff were standing around doing nothing, so Ping Gong asked, "We have a visiting American hi-fi writer with us who would love to hear a Chinese audio demonstration."
"By appointment only."
"But nobody's here—couldn't we just hear whatever you have set up?"
"By appointment only!"
We left them to their empty store.