Disclaimer: Xi’an will come in a later, more detailed post.
Today we ventured to an outdoor antique market selling everything from desks elaborately painted in gold and red, to toddler sized porcelain vases, to Mao statues that creepily resemble Joseph Smith statues. One vendor hawked a small mountain of rustic swords, while nearby another merchant peddled teapots shaped like elephants, flowers and pumpkins. Everything was obviously “recien envejecido” (recently made old) but it was still interesting to go along, and occasionally purchase, part of the show. One particularly interesting stand sold hand cut puppets. Each puppet was made of a single flat piece of parchment (or maybe leather) with miniscule snips and cuts to create swirls, or textures. Some of the puppets even had mobile knees and elbows. When held up against the light they glowed, and acquire a nearly life like third dimension.
After the market, I went across the street to the grocery store for dinner.
- 2 oily bread patties filled with thickly shredded carrot- 2 yuan
- 1 five leveled (raspberry goo, vanilla ice cream, chocolate chunk, brownie segment, vanilla again, all dipped in chocolate) ice cream- 2.5 yuan
- 1 medium sized carton of fresh strawberries- 16 yuan
My dinner added up to 20.5 yuan, equal to about 3.28 dollars. Wow. Sometimes, I skip the strawberries and get a jianbing instead (3.5 yuan) which then makes dinner 8 yuan, approximately 1.28 dollars. Or sometimes I get a tanghulu (3 yuan) instead of a jianbing, which puts dinner at a total of 7.5 yuan, 1.20 dollars. Will I ever again be able to handle the “cheap” out-to-eat alternative of a single thing for a dollar? Probably not.