Here in Shanghai, the stores are either sparkly and huge and don't have what I consider staples, or they are small and dirty and they still don't have what I consider staples. The supermarket near us is two floors, and yet I still can't find everything I'd like to find. Such as:
- oregano (since I couldn't find this, I looked for basil)
- baking powder
- vanilla extract
- almond extract
- over-the-door shoe organizer
- dry erase markers
- paper towels
- soap dispenser
- canned tuna
- tortilla chips (even though there are tons of potato chips, boohoo!)
- cheese that isn't that processed stuff
Some of these we have found in other places, but the prices are an astounding subject for another post.
Anyway, maybe these pictures will help you get a feel for grocery shopping in Shanghai:
Only supermarkets look like this. Not pictured: the store employees that either stand around and stare at you, or are snoring in a back aisle (no joke--I witnessed two of them on one trip).
Everything you see in this picture is oil. They really like it here. I wish they really liked butter and baked goods, too.
Bins. I don't know why there are so many everywhere we go. Laundry, storage, carrying, cooking?
Two full aisles of soy sauce. I guess this is what they do since they don't have many spices?
Labels have some English, but the English doesn't always sound right or make perfect sense. These noodles were extended for you by hand.
Wait, which label is right? Is this "whole wheat toast" or "whole theat toast"? Is the "theat" thing to get around the fact that it doesn't look remotely wheat-y?
That is a giant cucumber thingy. You can get slices chopped off for you to take home. You also have to get all of your produce weighed at the weight counter.
How do you want your turtles today? Pre-killed or not? How about your toads?
Don't worry about the chickens, though. We'll just kill them and freeze them whole! That way you can just hang them on your scooter by their feet on your way home.
Which will it be? Smiley or frowny?
Some foods come in plastic Tupperware, like the limited supply of yogurt. I guess that's good for transporting?