In this post, I had mentioned that I had found a market which deserved a post all by itself. Well, here’s the post.
I had walked up and down Zhoujiazui Road in search of a cheap and clean place to have lunch. I’d seen what looked like a florist while wakling up and while walking down, and while walking down made a mental note to go inside and take a closer look.
So, after lunch, I walked up again and did take a closer look.
I entered, and discovered to my pleasant surprise that it wasn’t just a florist- well, it was, but the florist was just one of the many shops that were built into a sort of indoor market.
Unlike a regular minimarket, this one had no grocery stores, or courier shops, or PCOs. It was built around a theme: home decoration. Only that it took quite an extensive view of what counted as home decoration. Sure, there were shops for sculpture, porcelain, and paintings. But most of the shops were dedicated to pets.
And not just cats and dogs (though those were there too), but also birds:
There were also several small furry animals:
… and squirrels.
There were also lots of turtles.
There was also an entire lane dedicated to aquariums, fish, and fish food. It was impossible to photograph any of the acquariums without getting a reflection of either myself or the flash, so I did the next best thing and photographed the fish tanks the fish were kept in before being put into the aquariums:
Towards the more exotic side of the scale, there was a pair of iguanas.
There was also a box of frogs, but I have no idea whether they were meant to be pets or pet food:
But the most interesting pets in the market were to be found at a shop that sold nothing but crickets.
Most of the crickets were kept in glass boxes.
But for the final sale, they were shifted to little cane cages.
Nobody over there spoke English, so I couldn’t figure out why crickets were so much in demand, but I’m guessing that the idea is to hand the little cage in your garden so that when it starts making its noise, your garden sounds natural. Of course, I could be wrong.
There weren’t only pets, as I’d mentioned earlier. There were also shops for porcelain (especially tea sets), paintings and scrolls, sculpture, and drawings on the sides of dried-out gourds. Unfortunately, their owners weren’t too enthusiastic about me taking photographs- especially as I pottered about the sculpture shop for ten minutes, asked about various items in a mixture of sign language and punching in numbers on a calculator, and finally refused to buy a bust with a different Buddha (frowning, smiling, laughing, and blissful) on each side.
I was able to get some photos of Bonsai and Bonsai mountains, though.
A bonsai mountain (though I doubt it was grown the way Lu-tze did it in Thief of Time).
And an entire bonsai mountain range. If you look closely (or follow the link and check the orginal size), you can make out the pagoda and the boatmen and the foot of the mountains.
And finally, what had pulled me into the shop to begin with: bonsai itself.
An afternoon well spent, it was.