Better than the tea market!!!!

We had one purpose for today….we were going to visit a tea market that was not too far away from our hotel.  The Concierge had written out the information for a taxi and we proceeded to try to find one that would take us.  It took three tries, but we found a nice man who agreed to go that direction.  We think that the reason others were reticent is because there is a new Underground Train being built and this area was one where there was tons of construction.  In some areas, the 6 lane roads were down to three.

He dropped us off and pointed to the opposite side of the street, which we took to mean that the tea market was over there.  We crossed the street and started walking around, but NEVER found the market.  BUT, we found so many other wonderful things that we quickly forgot about our loss.

Firstly, we enjoyed just walking up and down the streets and looking at the shops and people.  Much of this area was filled with Banks and Office Buildings.  We enjoyed seeing what the various small cafe’s were selling and found a WIDE variety of food.

We went into one grocery type store and enjoyed looking around and taking a few photos.  I especially liked the dried mushroom area….there were probably 30 different types of mushrooms in bags.  There was also a largish bag that contained a snake skin, a dried frog or some other type of amphibian, some dried starfish and who knows what else.  We are assuming that these were used for medicinal purposes, but they very well may have been used in food preparation.

Instead of a Doctor visit….._5165464

Many mushrooms……_5165463

I bought a box that I THINK is fruit candy, but will wait to open it.  We stayed away from the cookies and baked sweets since we have not been especially fond of the ones that we have tasted.

The next stop was in a tea shop and we purchased a small teapot, much like the one that Jialin had used and also a small pitcher and four small round “cups” (really tiny bowls).

As we walked around one corner, I saw a courtyard that contained hundreds of vases and urns of various sizes.  Some were HUGE…..Michael wouldn’t let me buy one….go figure.._5165476

We ended up buying and couple of things there, but our credit card would not work for some reason so the shopkeeper had to point us to a bank so that we could get cash.  When we got back to pay, someone had already wrapped our purchases and he made them un-wrap them so that we could see them before we bought them.  I thought that was nice.  Also, when we walked outside to look at more of the urns, they brought out an umbrella so that we wouldn’t be out in the sun.

As we were walking, I kept seeing people carrying green bags full of vegies and meats, so we figured that there must be a market somewhere close…..and oh boy, was it a market!!!!  Unlike the one in the downtown area of the city, this one obviously catered to the locals that lived in that particular area.  At first I was reticent about taking photos, but soon it became obvious that we were the talk of the town, so I whipped out the camera and started recording the scenes.

There was an area where they were selling live chickens and you could watch while it was killed and cleaned.

There was a meat room that had lots of people selling various forms of meat and fish. 

Intestines and stomach of some unknown animal.

_5165489 The chicken store…….._5165499 HELP……GET US OUT OF HERE……=_5165500 The butcher room……._5165478 

Eel anyone?………….._5165484

Then there were the prepared foods……

Steamed buns……  this looked GOOD……_5165506 Relishes and sauces……_5165483 Noodles and mushrooms……..

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Various forms of Tofu…….._5165504  

And finally a bunch of very interesting (if unknown) vegetables….

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