Guilin market

Just as soon as we arrived at Erica’s parent’s house in Guilin, we immediately took off to the market to get some vegetables and fish to cook for dinner.  This was my second time in a Chinese market and I was looking forward to the experience; I’ve always thought that the bright fruits and vegetables make for lovely color photos.

Walking through the entry of the market, I noticed the large woks of cooked dog meat (left side of photo above) that were offered for sale.  Yes, they eat dog in China and it does take some getting used to.

Erica and Curry acted as our translators and helped us to communicate with some of the locals at the market.  I tried again and again to shoot some photos but most of the locals were just too shy.  It made me wonder if the old days under the more “stern” government still lingered in the minds of some of the older people?

Erica posed with some mushrooms for my photo and then we selected some for our dishes.  After the long drive I was really looking forward to this early dinner!

While the locals did mind me taking photos of their faces, they seemed ok with me shooting their tables covered in vegetables or in their work activities.  In this photo a woman is taking peas out of their pods.

Again I saw some ginger and made sure to get a shot.  Ginger is quite popular in China and I often mistook it for Ginseng.  I’m not sure what the root is on the left…?

As Erica and Curry negotiated some prices, I shot some photos from my  waist.  Most of them were  level or too high or too low but this one caught some locals unaware – a husband and wife team working their stand.  The husband is weighing a bag on a scale and the wife is measuring and bagging some vegetables.

Ah, and finally the produce and vegetables.  Even for my silly little Sony Cybershot camera the colors seem to pop.  In this first picture, a grand pile of red hot chilli peppers.

And here we have some tomatoes, beets and red peppers.

Anya was quite happy when she found her favorite: eggplant.  I had never liked eggplant, or so I had tought.  The Guangxi style of fried eggplant loaded in garlic really is “to die for.”  If you ever make your way to this part of China, do be sure to try it out.

There were bags and bags of all kinds of beans, fruits and vegetables of all kinds, and it was all fresh fresh fresh!  I really came to appreciate the Chinese cooking and the taste of the food and its freshness.

When we finally made our way to the fish part of the market, there were dozens of barrels and tanks full of every sort of fish imaginable.  As the vendor swung the net to “thump” the fish against the concrete, Anya covered her ears and closed her eyes.  I always got a chuckle out of that.

We passed by the pork area and met Erica’s uncle and mother.  They run a pork counter and were doing a lively business.  Anya kept her distance as she wasn’t too keen on the raw meat but I hung around and chatted with Erica translating.

Some days later we were told that our visit was the talk of the market and a week later people were still talking, “Did you know that Westerners visited this market last week?”


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fish or vegetables?

One thing about China, everything is always fresh.  You go to the market, you get fresh food, and you cook it.  Canned and pre-processed foods are not as widely used as in the west.  Of course, this means that you become more “intimate” with your food.  For many Americans, probably most westerners, this may be a bit uncomfortable when dealing with animals.  In China, most animals are alive when you select them for dinner.  You actually look into the fish tank and pick the fish you want and in a very unceremonious fashion, the vendor nets it out and then slams it down into the ground killing it instantly.

The fish vendor’s wife must have had a long night as she is sleptt in her chair.  In the tanks I saw all sorts of snails, fish, eels, and turtles – all for eating.  Most of the locals would select the small fish and eels and take them in little plastic bags full of water in the same way a child in America takes home a pet goldfish.  Well, you can’t get any fresher than that!


I rolled a video of some of the little fish so that you can get an idea of how “fresh” they are.

 

 

There was no shortage of bright and colorful produce at the market.  And if you like hot food, the chef can accommodate you in that regard.

I wandered around the market taking photos.  Eventually, I worked my way over to the “meat” area and found all sorts of critters to go on the chopping block: chicken, duck, geese, rabbit, dove, and even more.  To save on download time and space, I’ll put the rest of the photos into a gallery below and you can look at those photos as you please.  I did capture a video of the “animal” section of the market and posted it below this photo.

 

 

 

When I worked my way to the back of the market, I found some more critters that most westerners would find a bit distasteful.  I urge everyone to remember that our standards and values are different from those in other countries.  Ours aren’t necessarily better or worse, just different.  Perhaps, as a hunter, seeing a live animal killed is less traumatic to me than someone who is vegetarian, but in countries where there is no supermarket, it is a way of life to kill your own food.  As for the “type” of meat that one chooses to eat, this varies from region to region throughout the world.  Eating beef is as equally offensive to most Indians as eating dog is to most Westerners.

I recommend reading Solbeam’s blog post regarding looking at the eating of different foods from the point of view of a person from another culture:

Marbled Black Lab

If you find the sight of slaughtered dogs distasteful, I recommend that you skp the next blog post “dog on the menu.”

Below are a few othershots showing the chickens, ducks, dove, turtles and rabbit that were offered for sale.  The fish tank looks a bit crowded & one vendor was selling meat cleavers.


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Stories, posts, reports, photos, videos and all other content on this site is copyright protected © and is the property of Scott Traveler unless otherwise indicated, all rights reserved. Content on this site may not be reproduced without permission from Scott Traveler. My contact information can be found on the home page.

Back to home page: http://scotttraveler.com