How the Cookie Crumbles

Life in the fast and slow lanes after SIXTY-FIVE

Suzhou: Day 9, Part 2 – Old Town Market

64 Comments


Our first stop in Suzhou, a quaint ‘little’ town with a population of 3.8 million, was at the Old Town Market. Bus parked, we followed close behind Jackie to a busy crossroad where he pointed across either side of the busy street. On one side we could visit the old town market. On the opposite side was a more modern, touristy shopping area. At last we were allowed to roam as we chose for a couple of hours. We were to meet at a designated area at 6:00 p.m.

I joined up with Bonnie and Russ and we headed to the market and a whole different world: open stalls, sidewalk displays; elbow room only and brisk exchanges of money and goods. No health concerns were in evidence. We saw small squirmy fish; large fish in shallow tubs of (cloudy) water; frogs; eel; cut-up pig parts with skin on and live chickens, As well, there were shoes, fabrics, and all types of outdated (to us) clothing. If you were hungry hot food was available as well as unrecognizable vegetables. These people were poor.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

 

We walked through the market until a bridge came into view and crossed over to the other side of the canal. Talk about being thrown back to another time, a world of bicycles and mopeds, old shops, dank houses with peeling paint hanging over the river, some without stoop nor steps. I imagined someone opening the back door and falling into the water.

 

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© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

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Small river boats were kept busy as one after another appeared.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

We wandered into the shop and found paintings and hangings of the same bridge we’d crossed as well as many recreations of past times at this location.  With a little time to spare, we wandered across the road to the newer, touristy section but it was of little appeal.

Pizza Pizza, McDonald’s, KFC are not plentiful but not unusual. I had to take a picture of this, though, my first sighting.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

On our way to the bus and the hotel, I realized how much we’d covered this day, including the flight. My stomach rumbled and my feet wanted a rest.

Dinner: (30 minutes after we arrived at hotel)

  • Breaded and fried chicken
  • Scrambled eggs and white kind of fish
  • Breaded pork
  • French fries
  • Cauliflower with bacon and young beans
  • Green vegetable (mystery)
  • Rice with fried egg
  • Soup with tomato
  • Watermelon for dessert
  • Tea and the usual drinks
© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

Our hotel was gorgeous and the room attractive, but the shower leaked. The sink and toilet were Koehler brand and I noticed either the door or the door frame in the bathroom were not plumb.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

Chinese saying:

Chinese will eat anything with legs except a table; anything that flies, except a plane and everything that swims, except a boat.

 ~ * ~

Next on October 10:  Day 10, Part 1, Suzhou to Shanghai

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2014 All Rights Reserved TAK

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

64 thoughts on “Suzhou: Day 9, Part 2 – Old Town Market

  1. My qigong master tries to get us to eat some really weird things….I don’t try everything she suggests. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Weird and quirky, as always 😉

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  3. I can’t imagine living along the water like that. I’d hate to be a sleepwalker there!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A little town with a population of 3.8 million. Holy moly. Our little town where I live as a few thousand if that. I wonder what it’s really like living on the water like that. I had to laugh at the comment above mine about hating to be a sleepwalker. She should get the laugh out loud of the day award. That meal looks yummy. What an interesting trip. All over the map, literally and figuratively with all you’ve seen, eaten, experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fantastic shots of this community. I would have a difficult time eating all the different foods but I’ve got an Americanized stomach which is not necessarily a good thing.
    I’m glad you had some freedom to roam around. Did the locals welcome your presence?

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  6. I would not eat any of that stuff. Of course they may not like my “15 minute slapped together bachelor cooking”.

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  7. Terrific tour. Those river homes raise a question regarding sewers. Did they have any?

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  8. Amazing photos and excellent discussion. It was as if I was with you…

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  9. Fascinating! Great photos, and I love the stories and description, Tess, from the market edibles to the DQ!
    The photos really do capture another world.

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  10. Yes, I think they will eat anything, but I think they have had to. I’ll bet with all those fruits and vegetables and small bits of meat, though they may have been oddly combined and prepared at times, that you came home weighing less than when you left. So much going here, there, and everywhere and they don’t cook a lot with fats or dairy it seems.

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  11. Pretty room. Not so pretty poverty. About the food, are you enjoying it at this point??? Is is spicy? Flavorfull?

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  12. I guess you’re supposed to revel in the cultural differences when you travel. Maybe I’m too old. I love seeing all the sites, but would certain prefer traditional American (or Canadian or Mexican) fare.

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  13. those poor little froggies. Did you ever have any stomach upset while in China?

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  14. I love the pictures of the old town on the river. It does look like a step back in time.

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  15. Hmmm…Dinner menu: frogs and eel, lightly grilled….
    Ah, no thanks 😆 But then perhaps I am lucky to be not hungry enough.
    The untouristy side of town is intriguing – shows how life really is in that place and space.

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  16. I thought that itwas the French that would eat anything now I see that they are only amateurs!

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  17. Reminds me so much of Vietnam, especially when I saw the photo of the frogs. We walked through a market and a lady had them in a bag on the concrete just happily hammering them to death, whilst the fish gasped for air in minimal water. I k ow the people have to survive, but it sickens me the way they have to survive. 😦

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  18. I wonder about the drainage in those waterside houses, can’t imagine it would be good. The mystery veggies are intriguing too, as I don’t eat meat – only some fish, I really don’t know how I’d manage in China!

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  19. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Day nine part two of the behind the scenes look at China – In this post there is some culinary ingredients that probably would not be found in Tesco…. and a very pithy Chinese saying that sums it up..don’t waste a thing.

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  20. That’s the type of thing I would much prefer, just being allowed to wander around on our own exploring. I’m not much of one for guided tours, I like the freedom of choosing how long I want to spend somewhere, rather than being whisked quickly through areas that I would have liked to spend longer at, and then being made to stay for ages listening to some info about something that bores me to tears! The market sounds fascinating, if a little disturbing! And their version of Venice is also worrying! Interesting to hear about the food as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Wow, Tess… The combination of photos and narration really made me feel like i was there. Honestly, I’m not sure i’d want to be there… but just the same i can see what a truly amazing adventure it is. The place around the river is another of the “places on the edge” as i think of them. In a Bavarian town in the mountains of Georgia (USA) charming shops and restaurants are right on the edge of the river. In New Mexico, Acoma Pueblo there are buildings so close to the cliff… including porto-lets that you are inches from the cliff when you step out. (I couldn’t escape the thought of being in the portapotty and careening down the cliff inside it. LOL.)
    I’m still laughing about the “mystery green vegetable” — at least it wasn’t a mystery meat! Hugs! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Tess, I loved the Chinese saying you ended with! And the pictures of the houses on the river reminded me of shots Crazy D took in Manilla when he was dodging the typhoon. I too am always jarred when I see a KFC or Dairy Queen or McDonald’s in a foreign country–especially when it is mixed in with ancient buildings and seems completely incongruous. Great post!

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  23. Looks like a good place to go exploring.

    I had to chuckle at the Chinese saying although I have a feeling that my sister-in-law would be offended. :/

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  24. Tess I am not so keen looking at the frogs in the market. The old Chinese saying seems quite accurate? How odd to see the Dairy Queen sign.

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  25. I’m with Carrie about the sleepwalking. My mom-in-law had a house on the inlet, but at least 20 feet between her and the water. And your meal? Protein-loaded but I’m sure all the “fried” gets to someone after a while. Great photos.

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    • Now that you mention fried, I’ve had to think about that.I don’t do fried at home and am out of the habit of eating it. I had not experienced any fried ‘after taste’ as in greasy, heavy, artery clogging. Hmm. Interesting.

      The water’s edge gave me pause. 😀

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      • Nice that ‘fried’ agreed with you. That’s one of my issues when I go away–it’s hard to stay on track with my food; I’m a tad on the fussy side. (I just like mine best, lol.)

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  26. Love the image of the girl at the front of the ‘dairy queen’ pic – quite ghostly. Great write up – I could imagine walking around the market with you.

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  27. I love reading about your trip and looking at your photos, Tess, thank you for sharing ❤

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  28. They must know what the mystery vegetables are, Tess, even if we do not. Well, one would hope anyway!
    Love the photos once again… it’s always good to see how people live and work in other parts of the world. And I’m really drawn to the rooftops, for some reason.

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  29. This looks amazing!

    Giggles. X

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  30. My goodness, those buildings on the river look as if they are going to crumble and fall in at any moment o_O I’d be afraid of walking out into the water too! What an unusual town. Your hotel room looks very plush, despite the leaking shower. You certainly visited so many different places Tess, what an amazing trip this turned out to be. I never know what I’m going to read next…love it 🙂 ❤ ~(*_*)~~~

    Like

  31. Tess, we really don’t realize how lucky we are until we see how some people have to live. Pics are great. Feel like I’m right there with you. We had a bad bathroom in London. You had to stand on the toilet and hop up and down or some such thing to get it to flush. Kept us laughing while there.

    It looks like you packed so much into your trip. Must have been fascinating.

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    • Nope nobody fell into that toilet in London. 😮

      The trip WAS fascinating and more than I imagined. I’m enjoying sharing it here because there things so far that happened and I thought I was losing my mind because I didn’t remember. That’s because we hit the ground running from the first morning–jet lag or not we were on the go 12 hours a day.

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  32. You lost me at “squirmy fish”…but you got me back at Dairy Queen! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    Best,
    Emily Grace

    Like

  33. Dear Teresa,

    Am REALLY enjoying your posts!
    Angie

    Like

  34. A great adventure! 🙂

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  35. Thanks for reminding me that not all the world is a stage. This post is a cold reminder that so many, including our own citizens, do without the basics of clean sanitation and other items I often take for granted.

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  36. Hahaha! What lovely sayings! The hotel looks very nice, my favourite kind, glamorous (very nice.) There is a sense of poverty in your Venice pictures but still there is a romance there. It looks like a lovely place to live and a beautiful “small” town. Some cities are like that : enormous but they retain a quaintness to them. This looks like one of them for sure☺️ xox

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    • This is the OLD town, not sure how old. Those houses on the water are what scare me. I couldn’t live on the water’s edge like that. 😀 I love the old bridge that brought us over from the market, over the canal and into old town.

      Like

  37. P.S we haven’t got Dairy Queen here … yet! 😊

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  38. Sounds like a day that makes you appreciate the bed 🙂

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