Welcome to our friendly neighbourhood cài shì chǎng (菜市场), where we buy our fruits and vegetables. Not to be confused with “street markets” (which are like cài shì chǎngs except all over the road), “night markets” (which Taiwan specializes in and Tianjin sadly doesn’t), “flower-bird-fish-bug markets” (where you go for plants and pets), or supermarkets (which I can’t stand no matter what continent they’re on, but which are also plentiful in Tianjin). If they aren’t indoors or underground, they’re at least covered. Jessica does the supermarket shopping, and I do the fruit and veggie shopping in the cài shì chǎng.
The fruit, veggie, and tea sellers featured in portraits here are the people we buy fruit and veggies from on a regular basis. I hope to eventually do a writeup on Mr. Yán (闫, who’s given name translates “wooded peak”) and Mrs. Zhāng (张, who’s given name could translate to “Sunset Glow” or “Red Clouds”), the married couple who sell fruit. You’ll also see some medicinal alcoholic drinks (with whole seahorses, snakes, starfish, and turtles inside), special apples with characters sunned into them, some whole cooked turtles that just looked cool, and some shots at the end of the first cài shì chǎng from our old neighbourhood.
You can read about our first experiences in trying to navigate a Tianjin cài shì chǎng in Mandarin, the first street market we saw disappear, and see photos from the flower-bird-fish-bug market here:
- Flower-Bird-Fish-Bug Market
- Before & After: Tianjin’s transformation at ground level
- Classroom vs. Real Life, part 2
You can also compare these cài shì chǎng photos with pictures from the local ‘wet market’ we frequented in Taiwan, and some of Taiwan’s really fun night markets, which Tianjin is sadly lacking:
- Keelung Night Market with Zhi-ling and Wen-di
- Shilin Night Market with Sunny, Rachel, and Cathy
- The local wet market
- First night market Culture Sharing class
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