Beneath this bowl of stars...

toddler activites, food, photos, and other orbital occurrences

Food shopping is not as easy as it was in NYC or even Wellfleet. There are 5 main methods of getting food.
1. Street markets/wet markets -- I cannot believe I do not have a picture to post here, I will go take one tomorrow. In all of the local areas there are either street markets, where most of the street is just people selling some type of food, maybe from a shop or a bike, or a blanket on the ground. You will also just see people on a random street corner with a blanket, a bike or a basket selling fruit or veggies. A wet market is a building that has a water supply where vendors have a specified space. Mostly the very locals shop here. They get really shocked if a tourist or even someone as chinese yet westernized as Dave stops to buy something. The food here is so cheap you might think its a joke.
2. Local supermarkets -- these cannot even come close to a US supermarket. They are more like a US local quick mart with a produce section.... very small. These are extremely cheap, and a great stop for local beer, trash bags, furniture pads, frozen dumplings.
3. Giant market complexes -- there are several large chains (i am talking multiple floors including escalator ramps for carts). Carrefour, Walmart (nothing like the US walmart), Emart, Metro, and probably others. These stores are like a Walmart or Kmart in the sense that you can buy all your basics there, sheets, towels, clothes, socks, electronics, small appliances, light bulbs, office supplies, toys, books, household items, cosmetics, etc, but different b/c they focus on food.... also, all of the non-food stuff is CRAP, think dollar store crap. These stores tend to be far from where we live and no where I would want to go alone with Amber (mostly b/c I dont want to go anywhere with Amber these days much less alone)... but definitely no where I want to go on a weekend. (far far far too crowded). But, the food selection in these shops is great. Great prices on imports and a huge selection. They even have organic produce and dairy and they deliver.
4. Shopping Plaza food marts -- this is a category of shops that are in the basements of the shopping plazas that are in all of the buildings. This is not going to make much sense until I write my big post about the shopping plazas, so for now, just picture a small shopping mall with a food store in the lower level. Most of these stores have a large import section (some of them are import/organic only), all of them are overpriced, and none of them are ever crowded. They are also quite small and have a limited selection overall.
5. Delivery services -- for higher prices, you can order imported meats, delicacies, organic fruits and veggies, organic dairy, yogurt made with milk from australia and bacteria from france, wine, fancy cheeses, import goods, etc. But its not like shopping at Amazon or peapod. You get emailed a list once a week of products and prices. You send an email with your order and you do your own math. Then you must be home to pay in cash for the delivery.

Yesterday Amber and I went to City Shop the expat food shop in the lower level of one of the shopping plazas. Its a 20min walk from our apartment. I dont enjoy going, not when i have to pay $7 for broken chips which I need to go with my guacamole and fajitas. But she seemed to enjoy it.

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