One thing that you don’t hear much about is fish markets. There is the famed fish market in Seattle, Washington, but aside from that, it isn’t really a popular thing for tourists. Maybe because most travelers aren’t able to buy souvenirs or maybe they just don’t care. But I went to a fish market last weekend and have to say, it was a pretty fun experience.
One particularly strange creature was poked by another shopper and it promptly spit water all over the place, landing on my shoe and resulting in me squealing and jumping away like any composed individual would. On another occasion I watched a very large shrimp walk right off a table and after pointing it out to the vendor, a friendly looking old woman, she got this look on her face like a little kid doing something they shouldn’t, and, laughing, kicked the shrimp towards me. I yelped and hid behind my friend because I am apparently as old as the students I teach.
I went with five other people, all German and characteristically calm and politely interested. No jumping or squealing. Obviously I was the loudest and most animated, of the group, providing plenty of entertainment for all of the vendors who were excited to watch the strange, strange foreigners.
I won’t say that the fish market has been the best thing about China so far, but there was something really fun about having no idea what I was looking at or what was going. It’s the whole reason I came to China in the first place. Not to be spit on by weird sea creatures, obviously, but to see things I had never seen before and to wonder at them. I guess that includes fish.