Thursday, 27 November 2008

Supermarket Shopping

Last night I decided to visit my local supermarket to buy some essentials I had run out of (shower gel, hand soap, jam etc). When visiting the Wal-Mart-owned, Trust-Mart (see above), it is quite clear that there is barely any Chinese influence remaining in the building. Walking around the isles I can sometimes forget I am almost 6,000 miles away from home. Occasionally I am brought back to reality, especially when I hear the same advertisement repeat and repeat and repeat on the speaker system (a common trait in shopping centres here, a form of audio torture I'm sure). I am also reminded that I am slap-bang in China when -- browsing for my favourite coconut soap -- I see a sign like this:

I am on a roll for bad English translations at the moment

The mundanity of the westernised supermarket has not completely taken over Wenzhou just yet. There are still many small fruit and vegetable shops all over the city, sometimes there are even trucks parked on the side of the road which have mountains of water melons or tangerines for the cheapest price imaginable. A few days ago I was waiting for Kimi on a small bridge overlooking one of the many canals in Wenzhou, when I saw a boat selling an assortment of fruit, vegetables, and eggs. It felt like I was watching a genuine part of a Chinese way of life which is all but forgotten in 2008.

This is the kind of China National Geographic told me about

9 comments:

Ihengsi said...

I too thought those recorded "yelling" in various shops were very punishing.

大眼睛熊 said...

I like these boats and trucks really,they remind me of my childhood even if i've barely baught anything from them before!

mabelp said...

This kind of boat seems so special!

Shawn said...

The stuff in the boat is cheaper and fresher than that in the greenmarket.
Maybe you can yell back in wenzhounese.The they will offer you the bottom price.Just like you know all the things about that.

michelle said...

I saw this boat everyday...the business is quite good indeed..

Wayne said...

wow,althought i've stayed in wenzhou for nearly three years,i never saw this kind of boat!!it's so...natural..i guess@@anyway,i love it,it must be a nice experience to buy things on it!!^_^

Alex (Sasha) said...

But not perhaps as nice to eat things off it, given you don't know what's in the water surrounding it.

Can anyone say botulism or cholera?

Chris said...

Ha, yes, I hope they don't sell any river fish.

Ihengsi, I am glad you found the repeated recordings annoying too, I am constantly surprised how the employees don't just go completely insane from it.

I'm always a bit worried about going to buy from the boat just in case I get completely ripped off. I need to know the "Wenzhou" prices before I do it myself.

Alex (Sasha) said...

Why do they do those repeated recordings? And why so many people standing around idly?? Grrr....

why can't they play pan pipes versions of the beatles greatest hits, something soothing, Enya, maybe?