Oh, You Are Lovely

Panjiayuan is a fantastic spot in Beijing.  I love it.  I love looking and talking and not understanding half the conversation.  I love it when they courteously compliment my negotiating skills when they still have made money off this foreigner.  I love not knowing what everything is, like a lot of places I go in China.  This visit to Panjiayuan, I thoroughly enjoyed with a fellow pottery/porcelain/curiosity lover.  We looked – we asked – we wondered – we loved – we bought – we love.  Thank you, S, for a morning memory I will carry with me a very long time.  Enjoy.

So Many Things

I’ve written about Luyuan Market before.  It is always such an interesting experience, with so many things to see.  I love asking, “what is that?” and not knowing the answer.  I love thinking of those people long ago who belonged to those shoes, that jacket, that bowl.  We think of who wrote that scroll and who read it.  Who will read it still?  We think of who will buy that tiny wooden cage for a cricket.  I don’t suppose I shall ever know.

I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door

J.R.R. Tolkien

Thank you, Tolkien.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

Luyuan

The auction lot.  The Red Barn.  The Jockey Lot.  Salins.  Gambetta.  The one on US1.  Panjiayuan.  That street leading from one temple to another in Bangkok.  And Luyuan.  These are some of the lovely flea markets I’ve had the pleasure of perusing over the years.  I don’t think I’m going to find the missing Renior or a priceless coin.  I like to look.

I can’t remember if I ever bought anything at the ones when I was a kid.  Any coins my sister and I had were always spent at the snack booth.

The Jockey Lot is like an immersion course in southern culture.

At Salins, we wandered, but the only thing I remember buying those Sundays were the roast chickens on the way home.  Mmmm, 20 roasting chickens with the juices dripping all over the potatoes along the bottom of the rack.  Nirvana.

At US1, I bought one of those blue glass insulators that used to connect power lines.  I put it on my window sill in Lexington and smiled when the sun shined through it.

I will visit Panjiayuan again at some point.  Where else am I going to buy my giant Happy Buddha?  Maybe along that street near Wat Pho.

And at Luyuan in Shenyang, I have purchased very few things, a lucky pig and a slingshot among them.  I go to wander, to look, to see, to wonder, to laugh.  We go and are stared at, talked about, asked questions of, wondered about, laughed at.  Come to think of it, I think they did that at the Jockey Lot too.

Enjoy the pictures from the ipod – a little grainy in the enlarged version, but enlightening just the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treasure Hunting

It was one of those perfect travel days.  I spent a morning at the Panjiayuan Market in Beijing.  I thought I might find some pottery, beads, one of those puzzle locks.  I had no idea of the beautiful treasures I would see.  If you like wandering and flea markets, you’ll love this visit.  Take the bus or the metro to Panjiayuan at the south end of the Chaoyang District.  It opens at 8:30am, so you can wander all morning or all day.

I wandered to the amazing beats of Mat  Kearney and John  Mayer, and enjoyed every minute.  I’ve added a few of their songs in the links if you’d like to share my experience.

In the end, I only bought some tiny glass blown eggs and an embroidered strap, all because the older women sellers were too sweet and too cute to resist.

Turns out the treasure was found in the moments, the sights, the wander, not in things.