Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cricket market in Shanghai

Today we went to the cricket market in Shanghai. It was filthy and David, (son #2-3)  who lives near therewarned me not to wear sandals as filth could rise to ankles. I told him he was nuts. When I got home I had to wash my feet. I permanently had to file the sandals for Hong Kong.

So you walk into this long narrow building in a working class area and you are shocked by the loud din of Crickets. Some are tiny in glass cases. They are for wearing in your pocket so you have a cricket sound when you walk. I guess that is so you are quite cricket. ( Who would say "Here comes a man making cricket sounds, I may faint" How irresistible is that?) I guess it is no stranger than Old Spice.

Then there are large crickets 2 inches by one inch in breathing jars. ( check out picture. some are larger.) They are  bought for gambling. You put the two male crickets on the table and then they fight to the death and you bet on the winner. There were thousands upon thousands of crickets and hundreds of men were carefully combing over them to choose a winner. Most of the men were middle aged with rugged faces.  There were no women there.

Then there were five foot high piles of maggots for sale for bird food. All live insects were on sale as well. Also mice and gerbals were for sale for those who have birds of prey in their tiny apartments. How weird is that?

Gambling is illegal in China, so the government  does not  want tourists to see the huge markets of raw material for gambling. There are gambling dens all over Shanghai in underground places.  Apparently Gambling, not alcohol, drugs or sex, is the major addiction in China.  Cricket wars are the new Opium. Get ready for the cricket wars.

The guide says he is shocked that people are talking to us so much and are willing to be so friendly.  We think this is hilarious because we don't see people as particularly friendly. 

Off for a boat trip. Hope it is a junk and not a cruise line.

Cathy #1 wife.

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