Shanghai: Fireworks and Chickens

A wedding was celebrated in our alley this weekend! As part of the festivities, somebody laid out red fireworks in the shape of two interlaced hearts, and wow was it loud.

The cats scattered and hid under the bed for the better part of four hours. I'm still finding tiny bits of red paper here and there in the lane. 

I'm seeing more and more live poultry at the local wet market. It started out with the standard reddish chickens, but is expanding weekly with ducks, pigeons (yep, these guys are all food birds), and most depressingly for me, Silkie chickens. 

I want pet chickens so badly! My Grandad kept chickens, and I have vivid memories of my sweet cousins chasing them around the yard, the apple tree growing up through the floor of their coop, and the sweet grassy smell of their laying boxes, and the warmth of their freshly laid eggs in my hand.

Once I asked him what kind of chickens I should get, and without a moment's pause, he told me Silkies. Silkies are an ancient breed, first discovered by the West via Marco Polo. They have five toes rather than four, and black skin and bones. They're usually kept for their eggs and excellent maternal qualities in the States, but in China, their uniqueness makes them a delicacy.  

Every time I see one at the poultry vendor, I think about spiriting the poor thing away to a life of egg-laying luxury. Someday...

What have you seen around your home this week?