While in China we visited the Hutongs one day. Hutongs are ancient neighborhoods where merchants and servants of the Emperors used to live. They are tiny little homes (and stores) arranged in quadrangles and you snake your way through alleyways on rickshaws that are driven by men who apparently don’t have to have a bicycle driver’s license according to how many times our driver almost ran into the back of the rickshaw in front of us. Along the way you are entertained by many vendors who ride right alongside you selling chopsticks, and silk purses, and chopsticks, and fans, and chopsticks. We (22 of us) dropped in on a lady who graciously served us tea and showed us her tiny little home while answering our touristy questions. Then she revealed her niece who does these incredible little paintings on the insides of snuff bottles and so happened to have an entire cache to sell. Hey, I’m not complaining. I love it when I don’t have to get out of my seat to go shopping.
Oh — I’m now the proud owner of LOTS of chopsticks.