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Published: March 21st 2007
Smile for the camera!
Smashed pig face. Many dried things hang out for purchase. This one is just plain too cute to eat! Now where would you begin anyway????
So where do those expats shop for their daily food anyway??? After living here awhile, I’ve discovered there are many approaches to buying food. Some prefer to have their ayi’s do all the shopping and cooking and they never set foot in a food store. Some only frequent international food stores, believing the quality to be higher and (most importantly), safer. Some only shop Chinese locations for cost savings. Me, I do a blend of all of the above. Most usually, I ride my bike to a nearby Carrefore store, which is like a Chinese version of Meijers. Here one can find important things like toiletries and electronics, as well as food of many quality levels. Always crowded, always has annoying, bouncy, techno music, and always takes way longer than I want to spend. Now, there’s also a large selection of little bread shops popping up all around Shanghai. My most recent find was The House of Flour, where I found delicious whole grain bread and a nice proprietor. My favorite place to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables is at a nearby “wet market”. Here there are few, if any, Caucasians and a large assortment of fruit, vegetable, and grain
Inside, Carrefore resembles a Wal Mart or Meijers. Many sections. Lots of noise as there is lively music and various people with microphones offering sale items in many of the departments. On weekends and before holidays, these aisles are packed so tightly it's difficult to move.
sellers. Of course, it requires a bit of an adventuresome spirit to enter the place as you get many stares. Also, if you intend to head through the fish and meat sections (and for the fun of it, I would advise that you do!), a bit of intestinal fortitude is required! Knowing enough of the language to negotiate pricing is helpful, but not necessary as pointing fingers and using hand gestures often gets the point across. Amazingly, the people are friendly and so happy to help you. But still, the adventure doesn’t end there, because often I’m not even sure what the item is I’ve bought until I get home and try to figure out how to cook with it. Now that’s another blog I think………
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