It was my sixteenth birthday, and for this significant birthday, I went to San Francisco with my sisters and my mom for four days. To spend some girl time together shopping and eating our way through the city. My mom and sisters all pitched in some money so I had a total of $100 that I could spend on whatever.
We all agreed that we wanted to go to Chinatown for shopping. This one particular shop we came across looked like a hole in the wall. As well as being hard to spot, it's open entryway was thickly covered with scarves and it had a dark canopy. We didn't think much of it and went inside. Both the ladies who were working looked at myself, my sisters, and mom repeatedly but again we thought nothing of it. My mom asked my oldest sister, Nicole if she was looking for anything particular and maybe she can help her.
The lady behind the front desk overheard my mom talking to my sister and said she could definitely help us. She then led us all behind the front desk and opened a trap door under a rug. We followed her downstairs. We went into a room filled with suitcases.
She pushed a fake part of the wall just like the ones you see the CIA/secret agent action movies like in the above picture and she led us inside a room filled with bags and sunglasses of expensive brands. Like Coach, Prada, Michael Kors, Tiffanys, etc. I then realized we were black market shopping. With the encouragement of my sisters and mother. I bought a pair of sunglasses for $25. Later when we got home, I found a pair online that looked exactly the same except they were more than $300.
After we left the shop, my second oldest sister said she will carry this story with her for the rest of her life and she was so glad to be a part. Remember when I mentioned that the ladies kept looking at us? Turns out they were checking to see if we were cops. Apparently four women of varying ages but all around the same weight don't give off a cop vibe.
Stereotypically, everyone's 16th, 18th, and 21st birthdays are wild. I spent my 16th doing something illegal so it definitely wasn't boring. My 18th birthday was calmer. I graduated high school a week earlier, as a grad present my sister wanted me to cross something off my bucket list. That was to stay in a beach house. I spent my 18th birthday eating clam chowder and listening to the ocean. I don't know which I like better.
Good luck to all the fellow writers and editors in the #GAGWritingContest, may the best win!