i did end up going to the ethnic market place in shaping, but it felt a little weird taking photos of the old ladies dressed in their native bai minority garb. that wasn't as sad as the ducks in a bag though. i'm pretty sure they're not being bought as pets.
i got a ride back to town (at the extortion fee of RMB$80, but i didn't want to wait for a bus) where i grabbed my bag (in storage at the guesthouse) and took the bus into xiaguan. as i suspected, i couldn't buy a ticket to lancang, but i could get a ticket for lincang (not as far, but along the way). the only problem was i was there at 2:30pm and the bus didn't leave until 7pm. so i sat in the waiting area for over 4 hours, watching the chinese litter and spit and god knows what else on the floor.
the bus to lincang was a sleeper bus: three rows of bunk beds lined up down the length of the bus. next to me in the center bunk was apparently a soldier, and in the two bunks above us were two hot chicks (i don't know why i have to point that out, but i do). i had a window seat and it was actually pretty comfy. before i knew it i was asleep. a chinese-dubbed copy of lethal weapon was playing softy on the television casting a shimmering glow on the faces of sleeping passengers. the bus stopped occasionally to let people go to the bathroom (i purposely didn't drink much so i didn't have to go). there were two drivers: one to take over when the other one got too tired. the entire trip was 10 hours long and we were only saw two traffic accidents (a car crash, and a truck had gone into a ditch). i only got off the bus at 3am to go to the bathroom by the side of the road. it'd been raining and even though i couldn't see anything, the suffocating humidity alerted me to the fact that i was in the jungle somewhere.