I’ve been shopping at a large store in the neighborhood for a month now, picking up household items such as paper towels, garbage bags and a few kitchen items, not really paying much attention to the fact that they call themselves a “supermarket.” Then, a few days ago I thought to myself: “There’s probably an entire level that I’ve somehow managed to miss all of these weeks.” Sure enough, hiding in plain sight, I finally noticed the “up” escalator that I must have walked by a dozen times without seeing it. “It’s a guy thing.”
When I went up one floor, an entire world of comestibles opened up to me. I haven’t been back to the supermarket in the building I work in, since. This market is even more interesting than the one in U-Center. They have men and women “carnival barkers” on their PA systems hyping whatever it is they’re hyping, throughout the store. It’s difficult to approach the produce or meat department without having someone trying to foist something on me. It’s a bit strange to have someone actively peddling a piece of meat or fruit to me, and of course, I have no idea what they are saying and they must know that but they remain undaunted in trying to hawk whatever it is they are obliged to sell. There are also people with samples, people demonstrating, whatever, at their respective stations. It’s QVC gone wild!
The other day, I randomly picked up a bottle of white wine because I was cooking chicken and I haven’t had any wine since well before I left California. That six-week timeframe, in all seriousness, was the longest I’ve been without wine of any type, since I decided I was an oenophile at the ripe old age of 19. It was a bottle of Dynasty and it cost 48RMB which is about seven dollars. It was good enough for me to buy another bottle on my next trip; although, it’s still hard to beat “two-buck Chuck.” Still, it’s nice to know that drinkable wine made in China is easy to come by. Both of these markets have a rather large collection of wines from all over the world and from my casual observation, it’s all completely overlooked by shoppers. I suppose I have my work cut out for me.
However, the best booze bargain, by far is depicted in the picture below. Note the price of 2.10 RMB. It sounds inexpensive and that’s because it is. Thirty-one cents for a 24 oz. bottle of very good beer. I’ve been stocking up for the end of the world ever since I espied this. Not too long before I left the bay area, I was boasting of the fact that I had practically given up drinking alcohol. The more things change, the more they stay the same, evidently.