One morning we disembarked our boat on the Yangtze and wandered into Fendgu, a local village by the river. All the people were short, under 5’6”! There were no other foreigners in sight, and we really stood out. They stared. Were we rock stars or freaks? They watched us as much as we watched them. Could we be the first Caucasians they had ever seen? Certainly no, but with unending attention, it felt that way.
Hundreds of vendors filled the streets selling their produce, meats, live little chickens, fabrics, straw hats and more. A “Consultant” had even set up an office (see picture). He helped the pregnant lady choose an auspicious name for her unborn child.
This was not a tourist market. I loved it! A vendor’s metal cart with a glass cover displayed animal parts – such as pig snouts, pig ears, something’s tongue and something’s testicles. Elderly people sat on curbs, plastic chairs, or benches, and they watched the world go by while playing cards and checkers. A man, squatting flat-footed in the dirt, “cooked” a chicken with a blow torch. Parents carried their babies in baskets on their backs.