By chance, we found the dealer above, whom I trusted more than anyone else I met on Jinling Lu. At his shop, I chose an erhu produced by Shanghai No.1 Musical Instruments Factory with a good sound for its price and bought it only after hearing the dealer play a beautiful melody on it. I made sure it came with a registration card as well as the necessary government export certificate. The case also came with bow rosin, extra bridges and padding, 2 sets of strings, a tuner keychain, and a VCD that lectures on how the traditional Chinese erhu is the best instrument ever made. There was a little nick on the body, though. If I would have pointed this out to dealers at other shops, they’d state that such things don’t matter and just talk the instrument up or desperately drop the price another 5 Yuan. Instead, this guy polished the nick with a repair kit at the shop and it looked fine.
Lastly, as with all adventures, the search for an erhu ended with a feast. Above are three spicy Sichuan dishes: cold chicken, minced lamb, and some rice derivative. As I ate, I was choking on both the spice in the food and in the air of the restaurant.