Birds and Bugs, Turtles and Fish, Tea and Temples (Part 1) (03/22)

Our fullest day in Shanghai just scratched the surface and how clear it is that we needed more time here.

The market called the Bug Market is a true bit of folk art. Cloud (our guide) tells us that all these animals are sold as pets and “for enjoyment.” Not food or fodder.

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Small to tiny stalls sell tiny to large birds in lovely bamboo cages. The birds tweet, whistle, squawk and shriek. Many, many, many birds from finches to chickens to even a chickadee.

The bug sellers sell crickets and cicadas – their songs pervade the market. As do stacks and racks of cricket cages, often elaborately carved from small gourds with lovely latticed tops.

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Gold fish (carp) of every size, color and configuration in bins, buckets, tanks and fishbowls.

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Turtles, salamanders, frogs, tadpoles. All manner of beasts that live in the water. They also sell live bird food, so there are bins filled with wriggly, crawly meal worms in several sizes.

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Also various rodents including chinchillas, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs. And dogs and cats – although the market was well populated with well-fed independent cats.

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