Now that Spring has officially arrived in Shenyang, as evidenced by the enormous amounts of construction, dust storms, and ladies with scarves wrapped around their heads, my friend and I decided to head out and look for some plants and flowers to bring some green and life into our apartments.
We weren’t sure exactly where to find them, as usual. This is the one of the biggest struggles as an expat. At home, I know exactly where to go if I want to buy flowers (or lightbulbs, or shoe strings). Or if I don’t want to make a special trip to the nursery, I can just pick up a couple pots while I’m at the grocery store and kill 2 birds with 1 stone. You can’t really do that in China. The “superstores” and “one-stop-shops” aren’t the same. When you move to another country, it’s all those little things you have to relearn that you don’t really think about.
Now, I’d heard from a friend that there was a flower market near Nanhu Park. Unfortunately, that’s all I knew. And Nanhu Park is pretty big. Normally I’d take a bus over since it’s not too far, but in this case, we decided to take a cab.
First I told him to take us to the park, but then he wanted to know which gate. I really had no idea, but thankfully, I have just enough Chinese to explain that we wanted to buy flowers. He understood and drove us right to the place and even pointed the direction we should walk to get there. Having even limited communication skills really makes this life so much easier. I’m not even sure we’d have found it otherwise.
I seriously can’t believe how huge, and awesome, and green this place is! I don’t know about you, but early Spring plants just make me so happy! I miss my yard and my grass a lot, and this was a little dose of home.
They have nearly any type of plant you could want. Potted, blooming cherry blossom trees, roses, azaleas, and plenty of others that I’d never seen before. From huge trees to teeny tiny baby plants. Most of the small pots run about $1.50 and the trees, as low as $20 USD.
They even have fish to go with your flowers. The ones for decoration, not for dinner.
After we browsed and shopped all afternoon, we ended up having to call another friend to come rescue us. We had so much stuff. That’s one of the best parts of being an expat. Friendships take on a whole new level because you have to depend on each other so much. No one has family nearby, so we become family for each other.
And it was a good thing she was available to come help. I don’t know how we’d have gotten home otherwise!
My living room window looks so much more cozy with that touch of green, don’t ya think?
Hope the ayi isn’t too annoyed she has more plants to nurse back to life after my brown thumb destroys them.