Dirt Market

It was a brutally cold day.  Last night we had freezing rain, a bit of snow, and temperatures that dropped low. I must admit, spending the last two winters in Boston has made me a bit weak. You’d think the Northeast would be terribly cold, right? Instead, last year was mild — so mild it barely snowed — and this year is shaping up to be the same.  Trust me, I don’t mind.

But it did leave my body and mind a bit unprepared for a real bone-deep, snot-freezing winter.  Like today.  In fact, it was so cold we almost didn’t leave the apartment, but this is my last weekend in Beijing, and I have traditions — like visiting Panjiayuan, the Dirt Market.

I’ve blogged like crazy about this place. Heck, I even used it as a setting in my first novel. I rarely buy anything, but you never know when you’ll run into a little treasure. It’s fun.

But it was frigid out.  My feet froze through my thick boots and socks.  My hands stopped functioning after too many times spent stripping off my gloves to take a picture.  And yet, I was only there for an hour.  The stall-owners you see in these pictures?  All day, sitting in the cold. Of course, these were the die-hards — the market was pretty empty of its usual summer sellers.

It’s 7 am here on a Monday morning, and 6 pm EST on a Sunday evening back in the USA.  Tomorrow I fly home. This was a short trip — only two weeks — but it was wonderful.  I’ll miss it, I’ll miss it.

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