Thursday, August 16, 2012

…Thiiiiiiiiis close!!!

On Thursday morning, we started in the usual way, with our English/Chinese buffet breakfast.  I ordered an omelet this morning and was interested in the way that he cooked it.  We normally cook the egg first, add the vegies, fold over and cook some more.  Instead, the chef placed my selected vegies on the griddle and cooked them, and then poured the egg mixture over the vegies.  As it hardened, he carefully rolled it up into a “burrito” shape.  This really seems much easier than our method!!!

After working for about 3 hours, we decided to make a foray into the city again.  Michael had found an antique market that looked interesting but we couldn’t figure out where it was.  We took the information down to the Concierge and, although he wasn’t sure exactly where we wanted to go, were given directions that we could walk to in 10 minutes.  We found this funny as our local Chinese restaurant always tells us that our take-out will be ready in “10 minutes”, regardless of what we order!!!   Well, it took a bit longer than 10 minutes, but we enjoyed walking in the commerce district of town.  There are stores on each side of a mostly “pedestrian only” street. 

We laughed at this “bridal fair” that was going on in the middle of the square (note the McDonald’s sign just behind it)….

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Another of these outdoor stalls was blasting “Josh Turner” country music….very out of character!!!

We have had a great time looking at the shoes that the women wear.  This look into a shoe store gives you an idea of what we are seeing….

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This particular plaza has some wonderful brass sculptures and I kept trying to get a photo of them, but there were so many people taking photos that it was almost impossible…..

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This statue was obviously not as photogenic……

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I love this little girl, but especially her shadow……

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We passed a fun area where very young children were enjoying a little “paddle boat” time in the park….

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I also thought that it was funny to see this group of people sitting around an obviously dry fountain…….

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We had to get into the picture-taking mode as well so here is a small husband and a very big gate……

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We followed the concierge’s directions but finally gave up as we couldn’t find anything that looked like an Antique Market.

On the walk back, we passed this older woman who was sewing and selling these shoe parts.  I am not exactly sure what they are used for, but I may buy a set next time we pass…..

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We also passed a street that sported old, old buildings….

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This is unusual here because  most of these old buildings have been torn down and replaced with bright, shiny new buildings. 

We walked down this street, interested to see what type of shops were there but were surprised by what we found.  Each and every shop was in the business of sign making…..from big banners to small “hang around the neck” name tags.  Michael had read on a website that the Chinese believe that more customers are attracted to an area if every shop is selling exactly the same thing.  I guess that this experience plays out that theory.

This gentleman was hand crafting a large wooden sign……

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As we walked back to the hotel we had these women in front of us…..

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….making it difficult to pass or to see for that matter!!!

After we got back to the hotel, Michael contacted our friend Colin and asked if he could give us additional directions to the Antique market.  He quickly responded and it appeared that we had stopped about 200 feet short of our destination……we came THIIIIIISSS CLOSE!!!!

So, after a bit more working time, we set out again, this time in a taxi!!!  Sure enough we found the market without any trouble…..

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….and spent the next 2 hours looking thru dozens of small shops. 

We had unfortunately arrived during their lunch hour so some of the shops were closed.  I loved this sign on one of the doors, although I have no idea what it says!!!!

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Several of the shop keepers were obviously taking their siesta and barely opened their eyes as we entered and looked around.   We passed one tent type area on the top floor where a group were playing Mahjong.  I imagine that these were many of the keepers of the closed shops.

The market was based around a  beautiful open courtyard……

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….and it was obviously a family affair as there were many children playing on computers in the shops or running in groups around the halls.

We did find one item that we may return and buy, but first we had to find out how to ship it.  So, we called Colin again and he assured us that he “had a guy” that would help us with it!!

We strolled back to the hotel but met a traffic jam just before arriving there.  The reason was because of the ongoing construction work.  Here you can see the workers replacing the tiles and Michael squeezing past the cars…..

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It got even closer when he had to get past the bus….and this bus is moving….not stopped…..

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For dinner we returned to the local restaurant  but arrived about 20 minutes before they opened.  All of the workers were in the back eating their dinner but one of the waitresses came out and told us that we were welcome to sit and wait if we wanted.  She also poured tea for us and brought out our Tsingtao beer.

She brought the menu for us to peruse and we were ready to order when the time came.  We thought that we were picking a different meat dish from last time but ended up with the same spicy pork.  But, we really didn’t mind as it was wonderful!!!  We also selected Broccoli and long beans……DSC05663

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….both were EXCELLENT!!!

We did have a bit of a chopstick duel for the last bits of  pork…….

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By the way, we are getting pretty good with chopsticks!!!!

1 comment:

Linda said...

Looks like you're having your usual wonderful time! I love the way you take advantage of every opportunity to really get in there and experience the culture!
(I was unable to leave a comment on your last post. It would never give me a comment box. Love the little pumpkin shaped bread!)

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