Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Street Vegetable Market

Vegetable markets are very interesting, and yes my standards of excitement have been lowered by living in Shanghai for more than two years! But this market is more than that: who wouldn't be interested in markets selling live ducks, chickens, and pigeons! If nothing else, being in Asia and in close contact with poultry violates several US Government recommendations for citizens abroad - I like to live life on the edge.

The particularly keen-minded of my readers may note that ducks, chickens, and pigeons are not actually vegetables. However I still call it a vegetable market because it was about 95% vegetables for sale, aside from a couple places with poultry and one with the local crab (it's basically all shell). Most places just had the basic vegetables, however some of the vegetables were rather exotic, at least for the time of the year.

Most of the vendors were selling right off the street, actually "on" the street would be more accurate. Often the vegetables were in bags, although sometimes they were just laying on the ground. This goes a long way in explaining the Shanghai taboo against salads and raw vegetables - you'd want to wash the vegetables thoroughly and then cook them thoroughly, before eating them.

The vegetables sellers are side to side with each other, the streets are narrow and winding, second stories look like they're about to tip over the first story, and laundry is hanging everywhere. It gives the area a very cool, somewhat hectic feel to it. This is made even more so by the area it's in, the neighborhood is a very scenic collection of old style brick houses and winding alleys - the picture on the right is a of a nearby brick house of about the same era and style. For me it's a good opportunity to look around such a neighborhood without feeling like I'm trespassing private property! This picture is near the entrance where there's a little more room to maneuver. It all gets a lot tighter, farther into the market.

This vegetable market is behind Zhongshan Park south of Suzhou River, a little off Wanhangdu Lu, and I'm guessing only operates on Weekends.

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