How to not lose your friends in crowded Chinese street markets, and other appetizing recent photos

Here’s some random photos of stuff we’ve recently stumbled over while innocently going about our daily business. Click each photo to see big size.

Hungry? I’ll give you one guess: What is this restaurant selling? (This is not a trick question. And Grandma Neil, you may not want to look):

It’s the “Qiān Lóng Shùn Specialty Dog Meat House” (千龍顺特色狗肉馆). The door advertises boiled dumplings and fried veggies, and the window lists dog meat hotpot (狗肉火锅), red-simmered dog meat (红焖狗肉), and two regular noodle dishes.

Two guys who detest shopping went shopping for Christmas presents last Sunday afternoon in Tianjin’s dà hú tòng (大胡同) daily shopping torture/madness. See if you can find James – he’s wearing a hunting toque, and the pinyin for his Chinese name spells “dingle”:

This is one of our first floor neighbours stacking a winter’s supply of dà bái cài (大白菜) on top of our gate. The older folks still stock up on veggies for the winter – it saves a little bit of money, and as recent as six or seven years ago there was hardly any variety at all in the markets during winter.

Coal is the number one heating source in our area, and most smaller restaurants cook on it. China is the kind of place where people who drive snazzy status symbols and people who pull coal carts like mules live in close proximity:

When you spend a lot of your time on a bike, you learn to make the most of it:

This is the dirty sunset we often see from our kitchen yáng tái (阳台):

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These are some our neighbours – that’s our apartment building in the background – sending money and winter clothes to their dead relatives in the underworld by burning paper money and paper clothes at an intersection last night (see a little more about this practice here). A few piles of ashes are to the right of the flames:

A lot of trees and bushes here get wrapped up on the windy side for the winter. Makes no difference to the fishermen, who, we’re told, will just cut holes in the ice and fish all winter:

This last one doesn’t have anything to do with winter, but I had to include it. Right next to a window selling chicken biscuits that we frequent at lunch time is this dentist shop. They make teeth, right alongside all the unregulated, filthy (by Western standards) first-floor lunch windows (which we love). I guess they thought putting the throw-aways on the windowsill would make good advertising, judging from the stack of business cards in the middle:

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