Twenty Minutes in a Pair of Nanning Markets

These are a few shots from quick stops at two street markets in Nanning last Thursday. Our tour guides/chaperones/handlers, assigned to us by the foreign ministry’s provincial office, didn’t want to stop here, but we were fairly insistent, so they gave in. The pic at the top shows a freshly-boiled dog. So is the one below, which looks more like a mythical beast than a mid-sized pooch.

“Do you find this interesting?” Edward, my shadow for five days, asked.

“Yes, very,” I reassured him.

From what I’ve gathered, dog is eaten in southwestern China (along with northern Vietnam) but isn’t found on most restaurant menus or corner fast food stalls. After assessing our collective reaction, Edward reassured us that dog is only eaten on rare occasions.

“We don’t eat very many dogs,” he said. “We are still a developing country.” I wish I had 10 yuan for every time he used that line.

In January Xinhua reported that legislation banning the eating of dogs (and cats) is being considered. According the China Daily, those convicted of eating dog could be sentenced to 15 days in jail if the ban is enacted.

Here are some freshly slaughtered chickens. No extra charge for the eggs.

Onwards to the fish department. I don’t know what kind of fish these were, but I did enjoy some fabulous seafood creations in Nanning last weekend.

I can’t remember the names of these mushrooms, but the ones on the left were absolutely exquisite.

Onwards to market No. 2, which mostly featured live animals –for pets, not food. Squirming in the boxes below are some worms and maggoty-looking critters which are sold as food for birds.

And finally, some turtles. There were an amazing number in various stalls, in an assortment of sizes and colors. China has nearly 1500 registered turtle farms, bringing in an estimated $800 million annually. They’re raised as delicacies for upscale restaurants, ingredients for herbal medicines, and as pets.

“People in China like and respect turtles very much,” Edward said. “We’d all like to live long lives like turtles.”

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  6. Shellie Troy Anderson says

    A new comment on an old post. Confession: I ate dog in southern China. Whenever I tell people that they gasp and I can see some of them mentally striking me off their friend list. My excuse, we were on a bus trip and it was the only thing on the menu in the roadside cafe where we ate. The meat tasted sweet and was like a tough chicken. In 1986 China the dogs roamed the cafes and were fed table scraps. They were called Dish Dogs.

    1. Bob R says

      I know that look. 🙂 It’s definitely not something I’d go out of my way for but I probably would have tried it if I had the opportunity, a situation like yours. There is, or least was in late 2010, a stretch of restaurants in Hanoi that served dog. I didn’t bother because I’m a big fan of Vietnamese cuisine and wanted to relish as much of the ‘traditional’ offerings as possible.

  7. Shellie Troy Anderson says

    Haha. There should be a particular name for ‘that look’, which I have seen countless times. Something that combines suspicion, disgust and fear.
    I’ve poured through your blog, it’s an amazing chronicle of life being lived and closely observed. Bravo to you, long may you run and all that. 🙂

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