The Hot Pot Blog


August 27, 2010

China in Photos: Day No. 60 In Which I Visit the “Antique Market” Song Xian Chao

I kind of love this photo.  I love the fancy women walking down the center of crowd.  I love the guys eating noodles on the left.  I even like the stuffed fox sitting on the tea table.  Weird.

I know, I know, it’s these culturally-insightful and sensitive pictures that always keep you coming back here for more.

And is it just me or does the dead, stuffed fox (perched next to someone’s thermos and cup of tea) look like he’s about to take a bite out of that kid’s butt?  That or he’s trying to read the other guy’s book.  I can’t tell.

Anyways, moving on…

When I moved to China, I (naively) sort of thought that all of (urban) China would look like it does in these photos.

Of course, most of Chengdu does not look like this, which makes this little corner of it, tourist-trap that it is, an especially fun place to stroll around.

It’s an older version of touristy Chengdu.  It’s not sterile like the newer places, it has some grit to it.  It’s not a cartoonish caricature of China, the way some of the newer tourist hot-spots sometimes seem to be.

It’s just China-with some cheap trinkets and a few women who’ve learned how to say “brocade table runner” in English thrown in.

Sure most of the “antiques” are heavy on the air quotes and light on the vintage, but that’s ok.  For those wishing to shop, there are still plenty of souvenirs and furniture pieces and cheap jewelry and textiles to buy.

For those just wishing to soak up the atmosphere, there’s plenty of that too.

Happy Friday everyone!

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