In this town the open air opera had attracted a crowd mostly of elderly people. Many of them had rolled into town on their bikes. These were all stationed at the back of the crowd and everyone was having a good time catching up with their neighbour. I only wish I could give you an idea of the noise and smells of China. The opera was loud but it was alongside a busy road with all the sounds of Chinese horns and hooters. Over the road were a group of men practising their whip cracking and top spinning, both of which made amazing sounds. Where ever we went in China there was piped music. The parks may look idyllic and peaceful but they will all be filled with the sounds of piped music. Whilst that is playing people often engage in their own musical activities ,whether that's on their ghetto blasters or they are playing traditional instruments.
All along this street were shops and stalls selling baskets and brooms and other agricultural implements. I did contemplate bringing one of the beautiful baskets home but decided that it wasn't going to work as hand luggage.
I think best of all was the area selling brushes. Stall after stall and shop after shop sold brushes. Brushes and everything you could need to do calligraphy. Brushes hanging from the ceiling, tiny brushes and brushes the size of brooms, on stalls on the floor, papers piled to the roof, inks, stamps and all sorts of porcelain bowls for the inks and water. For now though it's back to work until my next trip.
Not quite sure how this picture got here but it's me trying to perfect my chop stick skills at a traditional hot pot restaurant!