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Ahhh China… the smell of fresh…well… just the smell of a Fresh market will make you be a little wary about going inside.. but my fellow foreigners wanted to see the China that the locals see not the stuff that is for the tourists.  Since, I am an honorary local… I got the joy of taking them to the Fresh Market.

I am assuming that the fresh only applies to the Animals and veggies… because the building itself…. not so fresh.

We started with a couple of booths that looked pretty flea market-like.  They had ladies shoes , some shirts, dresses and pants.  Although, I was confused on how those items were fresh.. but anyway.  We then moved in a little further and found … flour, sugar, salt (I guess there was still some left after the radiation scare), and your various legumes.

Then came noodles, dried noodles of all shapes and sizes but nothing really unusual.   We hit the egg stalls… there were about 10 different kinds of eggs… although some of them looked like they had just dug them out of the ground, and rolled them in the mud for flavoring. One even had a mud like sauce it was sitting in.

When we round the corner… you will see about a building the size of a Super Walmart.. crowded with booths and stalls everywhere.

We began in the fish department of sorts… where my lovely English lass almost stepped into a box of live bullfrogs… I could not get my camera out fast enough to catch that photo… but the look on her face… had me laughing the whole time.  There were various recognizable fish.. and then some .. that were, well… We really didn’t know what they were…..our powers of deduction wasn’t working so I will let you guys figure out what they are.

Evidently, fish and seafood are not in the same departments… so we saw various sea creatures floating around… all you had to do was pick what you wanted.. and they would grab them out with their hands and start cleaning them for you.  Yes, while it is still alive….and yeah their bare hands.  All complimentary of course.

Ahhh … poultry… There were Chickens a clucking and ducks  a quacking and pigeons a cooing.. and some other kind of bird… which looked to be just asking for help.   However, the woman hit the cage a little so they could pose for the photo.  She was so proud, with her toothless grin.

Then we edge to the far end of the corner and saw where they plucked, cut and dressed your chicken for you… and all the time with a snaggle toothed smile.

We quickly left the poultry even though the ladies were very delightful… even knowing how to say…”very good duck…come back.. come back” in English.  Then came the Meats… yes… pork, beef, and who knows what other kind of meat was there.. but they were all cheese-ing as we walked through the small rows.   Because everyone knows that foreigners all like to eat MEAT!!!

I took several photos of our choices and if I were a butcher and knew my cuts of meat.. I would have been able to figure out …which one was a rump roast.  However, it all looked like .. meat to me.

On the other side of the meat section there were cooked items… at least at some point they had been cooked by someone.   I am not sure what everything was.. but… it seemed to be the leftover parts from the meat section people.

Finally, we wandered into the condiments and dried things… I say dried things because… there were a lot of things there… I really didn’t know you could dry.  I guess.. if your going to do the drying just dry everything you can find… That is actually how I BBQ, so I can understand.

We decided to leave our little smelly haven because well our eyes were burning from the fumes and nose has lost its ability to smell .. but on our way out… I felt something looking at me… when I turned back it was a snake… just daring me to choose him for dinner.    Ha.. he was safe from me…I am not eating that any time soon,  so we quickly left with the sounds of “Hello, Hello” at our back…

I usually don’t go to the Fresh Market because the supermarket is close to my home and I am not sure what I am buying without the label on it..I also don’t the health department would approve of their clever but unclean habits.  But it was an interesting day for my foreign friends who had never seen anything like it before.

until next time…