If I thought the Pearl Market in Beijing was crazy then the temple market in Hefei is ludicrous. It is huge and has everything except clean bathrooms and enough space. Right in the heart of downtown Hefei is an old temple that has been converted to a bustling market with multiple buildings, alleys and thousands of vendors. It’s a literal example of money changers in the temple.
This market is super easy to get lost in. It is also hard to find what you’re looking for unless you know what section of the market it’s in. There’s a building with fabric, bedding and cushions, a whole building of antique dealers (the quietest and calmest section), an area with pets like turtles, fish and birds, a very big clothing area including a building of shoes, and so much more.
It’s so confusing that I can’t find myself really shopping there unless I know exactly what I’m looking for. I’ve been twice in the last couple of weeks and left with nothing but confusion and a free Buddha figurine. I did find a place where I can get some lights to decorate for Christmas and a couple of folk art shops. Too bad almost all of the clothes and shoes wouldn’t fit me in a million years.
On another note
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve also met the deputy director of foreign affairs for Anhui Province (don’t know the exact title so it isn’t capitalized). He asked our foreign affairs liaison if we could help him by providing a teacher to a middle school every couple of weeks. Well, that teacher is me and I met him and the teacher and her students, all 70 of them, a couple of weeks ago.
I will be visiting them every couple of weeks with special lessons on American culture and giving them a chance to speak with a native English speaker. My first lesson is next week with the topic of Thanksgiving. If you have any great ideas for teaching and keeping engaged middle school student on the topic of Thanksgiving, please let me know.