Birds and Bugs, Turtles and Fish, Tea and Temples (Part 2)

In addition to the bug market, we visited the tourist market at Yu Gardens. The bug market has and earthy life to it. You feel as if you are seeing real people following real pursuits. I tried to bargain with a woman for a carnelian wrist mala, but I was so obviously a tourist, she was having none of it. Cloud told me she was asking too much (I already knew that), but she wouldn’t sell them to me for a fair price, so I walked.

Cats and dogs walked around the uneven floor and everywhere was the screech of the birds. One very forward chicken thought she might follow me home, jumping out in front of me each step I took out of her domain and along my way. Some of the hardest things I’ve done was not touching any of the friendly felines. Particularly hard not to touch the Carlos look-alikes. But I haven’t had the rabies vaccine and our trip is just in its first days.

The modern market is a collection of older buildings constructed in classical Tang Dynasty style, but built in 20th century to look old.

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Shops are all much higher end and cater to tourists, although most are Asian. But it was fun to look at the contrast between the markets, the one “looking” Chinese and the other “being” Chinese. And we only saw this because we wanted to have tea.

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