Sunday, February 06, 2011

Flower Market off Wanhangdu Lu

I walked past it at first, but that was ok because it meant that I found a market which was like the Tripoli Souk meets a slasher movie on acid, with chickens, carp, eels and crabs, all on death row. And then I found a lovely park, crowded with people.  I was the only westerner there, so far as I could tell.  There was a lady singing, people dancing, people milling around.  I can't find the name of the park now, (google maps is great at telling you where the nearest mcnumpty's is, but not the names of parks). I can tell you there's a wee bus terminus which it shares with The East China Unversity of Politics and Law, and that the 921 bus will take you there.

Anyway, I retraced my steps back from the park, and got my bearings again from the river.  It's interesting how our spatial sense of topography needs two or three passes, from different directions, to get us oriented.  And then I found it, lurking behind a car park, almost opposite the church I blogged about yesterday.  I found it because people were coming out of the car park with bloody big bunches of flowers.

It is mostly cut flowers, lots of bulbs in pots, lots of cacti.  There's no way you're going to browse in peace, mind, it's one of those markets where everyone wants to draw your attention to their plants.  And I gathered it was a fairly slow day for them, with the holiday and all.  One man drew my attention to some mint that he was potting off.  I noticed he had wee bags of something too. I had another look around, somehow getting away from him, because I wanted to find someone selling plant pots.  No one did.  So I went back to the mint man, and bought three little bags of compost, about 1kg, for 2 yuan each, (well, I bought them on a wing and a prayer, the contents felt like compost, and so it was when I got it home and opened it) and the mint for 6 yuan.  Then I noticed a load of old plant pots at the back of the stall.  I don't know if they were for sale before I came along, but Mrs Mint intervened and said they were 1 yuan each - which is rather a lot for a 2nd hand plant pot, but this was a seller's market, so I bought half a dozen - they charged me 5 yuan for them, by accident or design I don't know.  I left feeling I'd made friends with Mr and Mrs Mint, anyhow.  And now the mint is on the balcony, a pioneer for my plans there.