Monday, September 29, 2008

You Can't Just Jump in the Minivan

So, we need to go food shopping. Mother Hubbard's cupboard is bare after a few days away in Xi'an. Back in Maryland, we jump in the car, head to Giant or Shopper's Food Warehouse and load up.

Give up driving for a year and all of this changes. Shopping is a planned which requires timing and selectivity (after all, there's some walking and a crowded bus ride to contend with). Do you need some necessities from the Merry Mart on the 332, or will it be some niceties from the Western market at Modern Plaza?

Today, the need for Barilla pasta won out, and it was off to the bus stop to wait for the 683. Armed with our four recyclable blue Ikea bags, we ventured to the basement of a mall whose parking attendants wear cowboy hats. (?)

Here, we loaded up on pastas, which we cook up when we're just too tired to go out, some milk (imported from France...yes, we've heard...), microwave popcorn, and our biggest score, mozzarella cheese (from the US). Given the prices on these imported products, we head to this Western market around once every three weeks. For the most part, we're enjoying the treats that China has to offer, but once in a while, that farfalle comes in handy.

In all, it's a lot of fun to look at all the different types of products found at both the Chinese and Western markets. It's interesting to see the variety of tastes across the cultures. We do choose new things to try each time we go, but not too many at a time...remember, we do have to carry it all home!



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