Shanghai Cricket Market

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In the Old Town, we discovered a bird and cricket market that was truly fascinating. Throngs of Chinese men studiously poured over little containers containing crickets, carefully prodding and testing their potential purchases for their fighting abilities. Vendors hawked microscopic baby crickets to be further raised at home, all the way up to massive 4 inch long fighters. Other vendors sold cricket accessories, and cricket homes ranging from altered matchboxes, to special hand made clay crocks, presumably to house a long standing prize cricket. Towards the back of the market, past the cricket accomodation shopping area, dozens of groups of men crowded around 6 inch round “arenas” where two crickets would be inserted, and the fight operator would brush each cricket’s head with a mysterious brown powder, using a small wisp of bamboo shoot. The men would gamble, argue and comment like a bunch of American guys gathered around a football game. The fight operator would then determine a winner (although we could never figure out how this was determined, we observed no cricket injuries.) and the men would gesticulate wildly, arguing good naturedly, and then move on quickly to the next battle. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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4 Comments

  1. Melanie said,

    October 23, 2007 at 12:26 am

    Hi guys!
    We have been wondering how you are doing! We look at the clock and know you are sleeping while we are up and about.
    We met a nine year old adopted from Jiangxi while visiting Tybee Island, GA this weekend! What a small world.
    Ellie cant wait to see her cousin from Jiangxi..they will have alot to talk about as they grow up together.
    Enjoy the beautiful country of China and take in every momet. Also enjoy the food..our Chinese food here does no justice!
    Hugs to you !
    Melanie………by the way…Ellie waved BYE BYE for the first time today!

  2. benoweiser said,

    October 23, 2007 at 1:45 am

    That is the craziest thing I have ever heard!! Fighting crickets. I had no idea…

  3. Terry Sloan said,

    October 23, 2007 at 3:41 am

    Sounds like you’all (bet you haven’t heard that one) are having a great eventure. China is our favorite place in Asia.

    I really enjoyed Shangahi while I was there. Terry enjoyed working with the people there. I highly respect their values. You will find that every step, every direction where a building is placed is for a reason. And, different colors mean drastically different things. I have forgotten most of them except that Red is very important. And, license plates have a very special meaning.

    Graham is doing great with his PaPa. We did get to enjoy dinner with him Friday night. He is a jewel! Have fun and bring home the little one. Love, Terry and Sandra

  4. Nana Lewis said,

    October 23, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Well, if the Gamecocks can fight chickens….. 🙂
    Sounds fun seeing how another culture lives. I noticed Melanie’s post was at 12:26AM. Sounds like another night with out much sleep! Enjoying your post…this will be as close to China as I’ll ever be I’m sure. Have a grand time! Love you both, Momma


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