I'm still reveling in my recent trip to China. And despite Mr. Chef's admonitions that I not talk too much about China on this here blog for fear of invoking his own Sino nostalgia, I'm going to indulge myself once again. Because, whatever, this is MY internet.
Stella and spent a sun-drenched afternoon at the Beijing Furinature Market with our Beijing friends. A massive space, full of trinkets, and curios along side stone lions, goddesses of mercy, and Buddhas by the billions. If you happen to be in the market for a two-story high stone pagoda, well, this is your place. Merchants spread their antique Communist propaganda and "antique" porcelain on tarps in the middle of the market grounds. Further into the inerior there row upon row of permanent stalls where you'll be badgered to part with your money in exchange for silk skirts from Southern China, little Chinese shoes, bracelets, taxidermy sparrows, plastic toys, and strange rocks that sound like a cat when you strike them in just the right way. It's packed on the weekend, mostly with Chinese tourists, rather than their foreign counterparts.
The atmosphere was something to behold. Shouting, and good-natured insults, bargaining in that particular Chinese style, and the promise of discovering some hidden gem. It was magical. Stella was the star of the show, obviously, being the only foreign kid there. And, thank goodness for that, because I did keep her about about three hours beyond naptime, and it was only the promise of sprinting free amongst the stalls to elicit fawning attention from the shopkeepers that kept a massive meltdown at bay.
If you're in Beijing, this place is a definate must visit.
Yeah. That one. Who gets picked up and loved by every stranger we meet.