a lively chinese market on the university campus

Saturday, September 13:  The open market on campus is a lively place on a Saturday morning.  Here, vendors sell fruits, vegetables, spices, nuts, plastic household goods, chickens, fish, pork, beef, clothing, and shoes.  They even sell prepared meals and have picnic tables set up for people to stop for a snack, lunch or dinner.  It’s noisy and fun, and it looks like it’s the social hour for locals to catch up with their neighbors.

the entrance to the market on the Guangxi University campus

the entrance to the market on the Guangxi University campus

plants for sale

plants for sale

spices & sauces

spices & sauces

It’s a little difficult for me to shop here because I have few Chinese skills.  As this is an open market, you need to be able to negotiate and say what you want.  I came here earlier this week to buy some rice.  I only wanted a bit because I only have myself to feed, but the woman kept dishing huge bowlfuls of rice onto the scale.  I gestured that I didn’t want that much, that she should put some back, but instead she kept putting more onto the scale.  It seems she was trying to give me an even number of kilos, but I didn’t want that much.  No matter what I did, she wouldn’t put any back into her bin.  I ended up lugging home a huge bag of rice.  It may last for 6 months!  Because of all this rice, I made a special trip to WalMart in downtown Nanning to buy a rice cooker.

vegetables

vegetables

garlic, tomatoes, carrots & red onions

garlic, tomatoes, carrots & red onions

vegetables galore

vegetables galore

A similar thing happened with kiwi fruit.  I wanted only 3, but the man kept gesturing I needed to take 10.  I didn’t want 10, and I tried my best to make that clear to him.  Finally he put up 5 fingers and put 5 in a bag.  I really didn’t want 5, but I took them and paid accordingly.  When I took one out to eat the next morning, it was overly ripe.  I ate it anyway and felt queasy the rest of the day.  The next one I ate wasn’t quite ripe, but I ate it anyway with no repercussions.   When I ate the third one, I got some kind of painful bite on the side of my tongue.  I wondered if there were some kind of bug embedded in that kiwi.  Needless to say, I threw the other two away.

fruits

fruits

nuts & stuff

nuts & stuff

more vegetables

more vegetables

the market

the market

I haven’t had any other issues with the food because I haven’t bought much here.  The first time I came here, I did buy some plums that were cheap and delicious.  I also bought a dragon fruit that lasted me about 4 days and was wonderfully refreshing.  I hope I can learn some Chinese numbers and phrases so that I can better negotiate this market.

the market

the market

star fruit for sale!

star fruit for sale!

an extravaganza of color

an extravaganza of color

vegetables

vegetables

pretty lettuce

pretty lettuce

mushrooms and roots

nuts & berries

chickens

chickens

chickens

chickens

mushrooms

mushrooms

garlic, potatoes and onions

garlic, potatoes, onions, peppers & cauliflower

plastic goods

plastic goods

eggs and stuff

eggs and stuff

grains, nuts and beans

grains, nuts and beans

interesting vehicle

interesting vehicle with a solemn-looking man in back

want ads posted on a board outside the market

want ads posted on a board outside the market

electric bikes galore

electric bikes galore

electric bike parked in front of the market

electric bike parked in front of the market

the market from across the lotus pond

the market from across the lotus pond

I imagine I’ll get better at negotiating with vendors at this market.  It’s the closest market to my apartment, so I really should take advantage of it when possible.  I’ll try to learn a few useful Chinese phrases to help me find my way. 🙂

 

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Categories: Asia, China, Chinese markets, Expat life, Guangxi University, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nanning | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “a lively chinese market on the university campus

  1. Another terrific blog, Kat with super pictures that make me want to jump on a flight to Guangzhou from Kathmandu. We don’t have any flights to Nanning from here. That market is far better than anything we have here in Kathmandu.

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    • I would love to have you visit in Guangxi, Dai! You’d love our market here. I’m surprised by how extensive it is for a college campus market. It seems to be THE place to go for the locals.

      Nanning doesn’t have many flights directly to anywhere, except the bigger cities, sadly. I’m so glad you enjoyed my pictures of the market, Dai. Thanks again! 🙂

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  2. I really love markets and the fruit looks great there, your kiwi episode was amusing but it made me cringe!

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    • Me too, Gilly! I admit I freaked out a bit when I felt that bite on my tongue. It hurt the rest of the day, but now it seems fine. I was afraid it might swell up and block my throat. I was envisioning Chinese hospitals and doctors. Eeek!

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  3. The colours in the market are wonderful. I’m with you on the kiwi fruit thing – maybe it was just one that had a bug on it, but I wouldn’t have taken the chance, either, of eating the rest. I’m glad it didn’t turn into anything more serious.

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  4. Ohhhh, heaven! Perhaps some of your colleagues can give you some clues for your shopping. And can you buy chickens without the extra parts – like feet and heads? That really is the way I’d like to shop.

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    • Carol, it was great the first time I went with my young friend Caleb, who speaks fluent Chinese. When I go by myself, it’s trouble for sure! I think you may be able to buy the chicken without the extra parts, possibly if you request it. But you know the Chinese eat every part, including those skinny chicken legs and feet! You can see them sold in the supermarket all nicely packaged. Yikes!

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  5. That looks like an incredible market to have right on your doorstep. Lots of great veggie stir fries and curries – though even the chickens look good. Get cooking Cathy!

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    • It is a great market, Jude, and I do hope to get in a cooking groove. Right now, it’s mostly so cheap and simple to eat out, I’m tending to do that more often than not. I’m not so sure about those chickens though. 🙂

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  6. Oh what fun – the produce is fantastic. You’ll learn to let people know what you want. Those chickens looked a bit scrawny, I guess that’s what chickens that are raised naturally look like. How does one cook with chicken feet – soup perhaps?

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    • Yes, Annette, a lot of great produce, although I’m not sure about the salad makings; I think I made myself sick one night washing the lettuce and tomatoes with tap water. I think those chickens look scrawny too. I’m not sure what they do with the chicken feet, but they’re sold all over the place. They look disgusting!

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