Qibao Ancient Town is a small, commercial water town: narrow streets, busy vendors. The range of sound surprised me.
One minute were seemingly in a bubble of peaceful willow branches along the water way, a bit of quiet as the busy modern city street faded away.
Then down a few stairs, around a corner and sound surrounds us.
The market lane bubbled with hawkers shaking noise makers or yelling out specials. These eggs in a clay (plaster?) oven made me want to stop and sketch.
On the narrow market streets there are elbows and shoulder bumps and laughing and throat clearing and conversation: a sea of words I do not know.
People called out over one another while eating squid or candied fruits from sticks. Meat sizzled. Yams steamed. Then we wound around again and found ourselves on a neigjborhood street behind the hustle.
Quiet, even the scooters, silent.
There are such contrasts here. Old and new, quiet and clamor, Western and Eastern. The background sounds really stood out to me today.
"Lady, lady, hey lady, hello Lady," there is a lot of that on certain streets. And in the metro stations the loud speaker's repeating announcement in Chinese blurs conversation and blends with horn honking as we walk toward exits.
Toward home and a quiet evening of paper and books.