Posts Tagged With: Market

大高舍村 Market day

Along the moon calendar 大高舍村 (Da Gao She Cun) has a market.

Four, sometimes five times a week.

We recently moved to 大高舍村.

It is about 10 kilometres from nearby Liangxiang in Fangshan County of Beijing.

We have village life, while being not too far from the little University Town where we teach and study.

Recently Zuko acquired a pick-up.

The kind which runs on pedal power, which is very popular in China.

It makes life easy when bringing potatoes and mushrooms and all kinds of exotic fruit back from the market.

The market isn’t really just 大高舍村’s.

It is set-up between Siao Gao She Cun and the next village, an easy 3 kilometre ride on Zuko’s pick-up.

At the market you get not only fresh fruit & vegetables, but also meat, fish, clothes, house-ware, bedding, furniture – pretty much anything you can imagine to need and at a much lower price than you would pay in a Liangxiang Supermarket.

It is sort of 大高舍村’s Taubau, just with instant gratification & a little more color.

But you have to head there early, by 9 the action starts to fade and by eleven the only evidence that there was any business done is some corn leaves or onion peals discarded on the side of the road.

This, I think, is how getting your food should be.

A little more pleasant than the supermarket’s white isles and organized rows.

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Zuko & the Markets

Where we are from, not just the place, also the way of life, food shopping was a mundane rushed affair.

Getting in your car.

Driving to the supermarket.

Hurriedly buying mass produced food, from anonymous employees who work for a big corporation.

Stuffing it in a few bags & heading home.

I suppose it could be the same here in Siberian China where we now find ourselves.

There are massive malls with escelators, food courts & whole floors occupied with a single product.

It was quite overwhelming to go shopping for shoes suited to the weather.

It took us a whole day to browse the 40 stores grouped together on the 1st floor of the Newmart Mall.

We found great value & awesome product.

These malls all have grocery stores as well.

With a selection beyond comprehension.

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Zuko, however, have discovered the markets right on our doorstep.

And along with them, she’s discovered a beautiful daily ritual.

Walking to them.

Picking the day’s fruit, vegetables & meat.

Slowly.

With consideration.

While talking to shop owners.

Learning the names of produce.

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Exploring new varieties.

Greeting owners.

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Asking advice.

Discovering new gems.

Meeting new people.

Tasting new ideas.

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Perhaps this is something lost in a rushed western existence.

Every neighbourhood has these markets.

Little shops.

Some with fruit.

Others with vegetables.

Some with bread and rice and meat and beans.

More still with cooldrink and beer, rice wine, floor cleaner and dish washing liquid.

Here in China they’re not called neighbourhoods.

They speak of communities.

Five or six apartment blocks, with two or three play parks.

A clinic.

A daycare centre.

A billiards room.

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It isn’t green, like in Africa.

Not right now.

But it is warm.

Friendly.

A place where people greet you friendly.

With a smile.

And have whole conversations.

Even though you don’t understand each other.

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Perhaps this is part of the gift of living in the cold of Northern China.

Walking to the market.

Choosing the day’s food.

Locally produced.

Carefully set out.

Bringing it home.

Perhaps this changes meals?

Into something more?

It certainly makes life richer.

Fuller.

As intimacy & a slower pace collide with beautiful food & beautiful people.

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