Long chili and long trucks in the market.
11.08.2012 - 02.09.2012
Hetian, August 24th 2012
Last night I felt like my hotel was at the edge of the desert. Shops closed, no place to eat, quiet. At last I did find a good restaurant for dinner, but that was like 500 meters from my hotel. But this morning, I woke up to a complete different world. "What's that noise?"
I walked to the window and drew the curtain. Oh! Someone must have carried me and moved me to another place last night, I thought. I couldn't believe what I saw.
Come, let me show you!
Right across my hotel was a busy, busy, market.
The butcher. Maybe this is where my yummy mutton barbeque last night came from.
And the fishmonger. That's a surprise. I thought fish wasn't of the menu in this part of the world.
What else do they have?
Spices, of course! Fruits and vegetables.
But this one is the most interesting of all. Giant chili!! Compare the size with the potato (bottom left) and the eggplant (upper right). Having been growing up in Indonesia, I thought I knew all kinds of chili. No, no, I had not!
Fueling up for the day.
Apparently this market was a market hub or wholesale market.
Huge -- and long -- trucks drove in and out. As if to match the length of their chili, the trucks here were extremely long as well. Compare the size with the man sitting at the edge of the truck. I promise you, I didn't photoshop this photo. This one single truck is top loaded with just one kind of stuff. These ones look like pears, or maybe apples. I saw other trucks like this loaded with onion, cabbage (ewww!), etc.
Here's another view of the long truck. You can compare the size with the motor cart on the left.
The customers of this market were not just housewives. Many motor carts parked along the main street and filled their cart like this.
Not only something to eat, but also something to use, was to be offered e.g. plastic pails, plastic jars, plastic glass, sieves, mops, etc. Oh yeah, those are eggs. That's something to eat. It's been more than obvious to me that boiled egg is a must on Xinjiang's breakfast menu. No matter how poor the menu, egg is for sure to be present, just like my breakfast at the hotel this morning.
The market space seemed not enough to hold Hetian's busy trade. Fruit vendors made space across the main street. Awww, is that white-bearded man smiling at me? All the time inside the market, I felt like the sellers were looking at me with suspicion. Many of my shots turned blurry, because I lost confidence and my hands were shaking. I kept on exploring the market, however. I had been excited in Korla's market, but I was also here. This market has a different life than Korla.
Life along the main street is like this.
This is my hotel again, Jinsanjiao Hotel. The side that faces the market is on the right. I could see (and hear) the hustle and bustle of the market from my room window.
I'm standing in front of my hotel. The market area is on the street to the left. To the street behind me is like this:
Besides cooking material, this area is also central for building materials. I went into that lane on the right. Wow... my desire for interior designing got stirred up. This is absolutely a home/office builder's haven.
Cement, paint, door/window frames, handles, screws, you name it, they are all here. Nevertheless, I was amazed by another thing. Can these shop owners read everything written on their shop? If the owner is Chinese, can he read the Arabic letters? If the owner is Uyghur, can he read the Chinese characters? This is not at all like Chinese and Japanese, or English and France, in terms of characters. Even from a hundred meter away, you can tell without doubt which one is Chinese and which one is Arabic, because one has angle shapes and the other has curve shapes.
Yep, autumn is near. Good morning, Hetian!