Grocery Shopping Shanghai Style

Last Sunday we had Chen shi fu take us to the biggest and what is reputedly the best Carrefour in Shanghai to find all the things I need to cook, especially those items I would use for Chinese dishes like soy sauce, hoisin sauce, special vinegars, etc.  As I’ve said before Carrefour leaves Walmart in the dust size wise, they’re usually a couple floors. So Chen shi fu (shi fu means that he has reached the master level of driving) dropped us off on the lower level and we went searching for a couple of things (I think it was trash bags-we were unsuccessful, again).

We then manuveured our cart up one of the moving ramps that are ubiquitous in all the big stores here and that just give me the willies (I don’t like the moving ramps in airports either and they stay horizontal!). Who do we see up at the top of the ramp but Chen Shi fu! He has come to push our cart!

The first part of our trip was pretty difficult because we were looking for all of these different ingredients and most of the bottles were in Chinese.  Sometimes there would be an occasional English word on a random bottle like hoisin and you’d know you were in the right section.  Then we discovered that there were small tags on the shelf written in tiny English.

But some things we still couldn’t find, so we whipped out our cell phones and typed it into our translate program and showed it to Chen shi fu and he asked someone.  Sometimes we think he called his wife to ask  where to look 🙂

Then we gave our brains a break and headed to the produce aisle. However, there’s a lot of items I don’t recognize in this section.

Do people really eat 3 leaf clovers here? I could harvest my front yard in Corning!

Did I mention this place was big?

Chen shi fu helping me pick off the bad leaves and bag the lettuce

Lots of pretty vegetables

Chen shi fu helped me score some cilantro. I've been looking for some ever since I got here

More produce long shots

Chen shi fu unloading the groceries to be checked out. Note the Wegman's bags!

Chen shi fu's face is revealed! You bag your own in all stores(even non-grocery) here and frequently there are either no bags or you must pay for them.

The final haul. Chen shi fu helped us bring all of our bags up to our apartment. I never expected he would do anything for us other than drive us from A to B!

I couldn’t quite get the hang of having someone else push my cart and weigh my vegetables for me. I’d start to do it and then he would gently take the cart from me.  We’ve had the same dance going on with the car too, especially if I happen to ride in the front seat.  The middle door is automatic and he can open it from his seat. But if I happened to be in the front seat I would just open the door and hop out only to see him scurrying around the front of the car in an effort to get to the door first so that he could open it for me! It took me a couple of times before I got the hang of it and waited, but I have to admit it makes me feel a little silly.  It’s not like he’s my boyfriend!

This is getting long so I’ll leave the last couple of pictures until another time. Don’t want to run out of things to post about! It was a hot one today, but the temps are supposed to start going down tomorrow and be in the 80’s next week, so that’ll be nice. Looks like it was pretty hot in Corning too, but it’s going to be nice all next week.

 

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About DECRYPTKNIT: knitter on the loose in Shanghai

Hi, I'm Marisa Newhouse, a former pharmacist (for a brief time during the Reagan administration) who's real calling was probably anything that has to do with cooking, plants, literature and especially knitting; hence my last and favorite job, working at Woolyminded, a wonderful yarn store. But now, I have moved half a world away to Shanghai where my husband will be working. Lots of people are interested in what we will be doing here and I have always kept journals of our travels, so I thought I'd do it the modern way and keep a blog.
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2 Responses to Grocery Shopping Shanghai Style

  1. Wow, produce looks great there — you will be able to find your greens plus a rainbow of other colors of veg. very healthy. I am envious – very difficult to find fresh produce in the UP of Michigan. What kinds of fruit did you find?
    Love Ya, Your Biggest Sister

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