Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Exploring the flower market

I have been to my local flower and fish market many times since moving here, but I have never taken much time to explore the second floor until now.  The second floor is full of shops with fake flowers, frame shops, and other odds and ends.  This shop had all shape and size wood shelves and stands.  The smaller stands are often used to display decorative carvings of semi precious stones, jade being a popular one here in China.  Since this seemed to be the shop's niche, they had a huge variety including large shelves carved in the traditional Chinese style of a circle.  I find these shelves so beautiful and I've seen them many times and even found a shop that will build custom ones, which I am considering having done before our move.  Beyond the shelf shop I passed by other traditional wood carved furniture shops, some with stone carvings or huge stones larger than a basketball, displayed on stands.  There were rows of fake flowers shops that had every kind of flower imaginable.  I even found bamboo and other long sticks for sale at one shop. Of course with all these flowers there are also shops with ceramic and glass vases in a dizzying array!

I also found some beautiful ceramic pots which I plan to buy after I get back from our trip to NH.  Anyone who has bought a ceramic pot at a garden shop know how expensive they can be.  Here, they are a fraction of the cost.  I may not be able to bring my plants to the US but I can bring the pots!
Walking around a corner I came across a shop selling framed art work, including the Mona Lisa.  Despite the temptation I managed to pass on it.  After getting the two paintings we bought in Hong Kong and the embroidered scene from the water village we visited framed I am out of wall space... oh well!  I did see that you could have a photo turned into a painting.  That may be worth looking into, it might be nice to have a painting of the kids, and I can only imagine how expensive it would be to have done the in US.  Gotta take advantage of the perks that come with living in China!
I will say, one of the big perks, aside from the travel, is the variety of food!  Shanghai is without a doubt a very diverse city with a large international community.  As any expat can attest to, having a meal of some of your favorites from home can help with homesickness.  Whether this is the reason there is such a variety of restaurants or not I can't say.  I do love going out and trying new places though.  This week Eric took me to a Korean barbecue place.  Here you order your meats and then they bring you a huge tray of leafy greens, which is what you use to wrap up the meat, and several appetizers.  They cook the meat in front of you at your table and use scissors to cut it up.  By the time we finished lunch we were both stuffed!
I'm spending the rest of the week getting ready for our trip to NH.  I can't wait to spend time with my family and friends.  I am not exactly looking forward to the flight over though.  Hopefully with a backpack full of books and toys and the TV the kids will happy and quiet.  Fingers crossed!