A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Shamian Island and Market Day

Baba was playing with the settings on his camera and caught Katie watching me blog.  

Guangzhou is much more of an international city than Nanchang or Nanning.  Two nights ago, we went out for Mexican food.  It was pretty good!  The "salsa" bowl was catsup, but the rest of it was tasty.  

Our hotel at night.  There's a rotating restaurant at the top, but we were warned that it's quite expensive.  I imagine the view must be breathtaking, the city lights are just incredible here.  

There's no good spot to get a picture that accurately shows the water and lights in front of the hotel.  I'm reminded of Disney's water and light show at California adventure, but without the music.  

My favorite tourist.  Paul's a much better traveler than I am.  He never complains, and he carries like a sherpa.  Baby carrier, backpack, taking the loaded stroller up and down stairs, he's pretty impressive.  I mentioned the other morning that I was sore from hauling Katie around (although she's lighter than Luke, so I'm grateful to be carrying her and not him any more).  Paul told me that I needed to get into shape.  I told him, "Round IS a shape."  

Speaking of which, we're on to grape and peach Oreos now.   I haven't tried the birthday cake ones, because I'm not much of a cake person, and I'm leary of the green ones because last time I tried mint ones here (2010) they were toothpaste flavored.  I don't mind a Thin Mint type taste, like the Oreos at home, but Oreos are not supposed to taste like toothpaste.  

Speaking of the FOOD, I love eating here.  New adventures all the time, and it's all good.  See the spikey pink fruits by the vendor's left hand?  Dragonfruit.  Yum.  The inside is white with black seeds scattered throughout.  We've had it at all 3 breakfast buffets, and I really like it.  Oh, and I tried DRIED RADISH a couple days ago.  I saw it on the buffet and thought, "Why not?"  I was curious, so I grabbed a couple pieces, ate one, and gave one to Paul.  It was interesting.  Not bad, but not something I would seek out.  

Yesterday after Shamian Island, we walked through the Chinese medicine/spice market and the pet market.  Our guide pointed these out to us, "Deer penis."  Now, he has a sense of humor, and I'd like to think he was teasing us, but the other Dad with us was an experienced hunter, and they had a totally straight-faced conversation about it.  Okay then.  I'm not even going to ask what those are used for.  

The way the markets here work is so different from what we're used to at home.  In the US, you have a shopping center with all DIFFERENT types of stores.  A grocery, a laundromat, a nail salon, a UPS store, a pet supply shop, and a health food store.  In China, you have areas where everybody is selling the same things.  Rows of itty bitty shops that all have ___________.  In the photo above, you can see several different stores down the left side.  All have dried seahorse, starfish, flowers, saffron...  Oh, there's some variation from shop to shop, but if you're looking for an herbal cure, you go to this market area and haggle until you find it at the price you like.  

Mushrooms in a variety of colors and sizes.

And of course, the obligatory scorpion shots.  The black ones are the big scorpions.  These suckers are about 6" long.  And they're writhing and fighting each other.  

These are the little scorpions.  They got up to about 1.5" long.  While we were watching, a guy was dumping bags of them into a bucket.  Think about that for a minute.  Bags of live scorpions.  Not clear bags, so you know that you got them all out.  More like burlap or a plastic version of burlap.  So there could be one left in there the next time you pick that bag up.  :shudder:  Oh, and this stall had 3 big buckets of the little guys, and one bucket of the big ones, and TODDLER running around.  What could go wrong there??

Seriously, she's so stinking cute.  

After the medicine market (yes, the scorpions are used medicinally; good for arthritis, I hear), we walked through the pet market.  Again, dozens of vendors, all selling animals or animal wares (and in some cases "wears" as I saw dog clothing there this time).  Katie does not like animals.  

This was a good opportunity for her to see that Baba will protect her from the scary fishies and bunnies.  

These guys reminded me of Annaliese's turtle.  Same kind.  LOTS of buckets of turtles here.


A guy checking out a kitten.  There were lots of cages of cute kitties.  I would have liked to pet some, but we were warned against touching the animals last time we were here.  And I don't need to get any closer to the fleas, lol.  (Last time we walked through there, I ended up with 12 huge welts on my legs from flea bites.  This time, I came prepared with bug spray.  I got two mosquito (I think) bites at Safari Park, and only ONE flea bite from the pet market this time.  Pretty happy about that.  It still feels like someone stuck an M&M under my skin, and they itch like mad, but 3 is much more bearable than 12.  

All sorts of birds.

Dogs, which "froke" Katie out.  (That's a Furbyism.)

Bunnies front and center, and then more fish/turtles around the corner on the right.

Mice.  I didn't see many of these.

Ugly fish.

Even uglier frogs.  They look like animal fetus specimens in formaldehyde.  Except moving.  Woof.  

Okay, so when we were at Safari Park, we all kind of laughed to see DEER on display.  I mean, deer are sort of a suburban nuisance here, right?  We used to see them all the time when we lived out in the country.  We were sort of teasing, "What's next, raccoons?"  Not quite a raccoon, but we were pretty surprised to see SQUIRREL in a cage.

More aquatic creatures.  Oh, and you can't see any in this picture, but I found it interesting that they have large open bags of pet food here, so you can buy just a scoop or so at a time.  I guess it makes sense, that when many people do not drive, you don't want to be schlepping a 25# bag of cat food home.  


These were probably my favorite weird thing from yesterday.  I have no idea what kind of fish these are, but they just look so different than anything I'm used to seeing, I had to snag the camera from Paul and get a picture of them.  There are dozens and dozens of pictures I'm NOT showing every day.  You're welcome.  Maybe after we get home and I can download all the pictures onto my computer and see them full sized, I'll go back and share some more trip pictures.  But I have a feeling, at least at first, I'll have PLENTY of fresh blog fodder with Katie and Luke settling in to family life, doctors' appointments, other family stuff, etc.

After Shamian Island, the medicine market, and the pet market, it was time to go back to the hotel for NAPS!  

1 comment:

  1. I think your "ugly fish" might be these: http://www.axolotl.org/ We saw them at the Science Center in Charlotte.