The Yellow River flows through Henan Province, and this region is considered the cradle of Chinese civilization. Besides Luoyang, the province is home to a number of other ancient capitals of past dynasties. We were in Henan mainly to see the Shaolin Temple (which I plan to blog about later). Below are pictures I took while roaming a local street market in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. Local street markets show a grittier side of China, one that is inhabited by the majority of the people today. Yes, there were little ones with slit pants roaming around which I have decided to not show. Mentally, the distance between what those creatures produced and what I ate were too short for comfort.
One thing striking about the market is that the manufactured goods available are mostly made of plastic. Clothes sold here are of low thread count and poor quality. China is still dirt poor. Water use is frugal.
Don’t think for a moment that these Chinese don’t want their streets to be tiled with marble. Don’t think for a moment that they don’t want the most fashionable cloths made from the most high-end materials. They are toiling away to crawl out of this poverty. For now, they make do the best they can with what they have. Just about everyone I talk to thinks China is growing, and it’s only a matter of time before standards of living markedly improves.