The grocery stores are FULL of employees. Every section has at least one or two. In the produce section, some of the produce is already wrapped in saran wrap and tagged with a price. Anything you pick yourself, you take to the produce person for your table/section and she/he bags and tags it. I just learned yesterday that this applies to the stationary section at our grocery store. And it applies to the appliance section of Carrefour (French grocery store 1 subway stop away). It applies to the behind the counter pharmacy section of our grocery store as well, but I actually expected that. The rest of the time employees chase me down like a confused American/shoplifter and direct me on how to proceed. Luckily, either they motion well, know a little English, or a fellow shopper who speaks English will help explain.
This is in front of CSF. It’s in a line of stores that includes McDonald’s. It also has a chicken fast food place right in front of it. All businesses that sell food have giant plastic flaps you have to walk through. The “parking lot” for CSF is full of vendors, a police kiosk, etc. We have had duplicate keys made by a woman in a cart there. In the above picture, the guy with all the plants is also selling beta fish and tiny turtles.
Here are some of the foods we’re living off of:
Dried cranberries (in tiny little packets). These are twisted cookies that taste a bit like an animal cracker. They also have chicken and I think seaweed varieties. They also have these whale crackers that seem like a Goldfish substitute but they are seaweed or kabob flavored, at least that’s what the pictures seem like.
Pre-saran wrapped bananas. Lemon cheesecake Oreos.
Nestle Cheerios? These little, prepackaged waffles. Sort of like a shelf stable Eggo.
The loaves of bread are small. About half a loaf size. And mostly white but sometimes I can find wheat.
Cantaloupe, bagged and tagged.
I didn’t buy these Craisins. They were in the import section. 138 Yuan. $23. It is a giant bag though.
The produce section at CSF. On the right you can see the woman in the maroon apron waiting to bag and tag your produce.
A produce stand in the Ally Market. B was buying a power strip next door.
Here’s a shot of the crazy parking lot for CSF. It’s nuts!
These are actually from inside Unimart, a different store.
A Gangham Style toy. An open topped freezer full of exposed seafood you’d scoop into a bag as if it were produce.
Bagged eggs. They also have eggs in cartons. Most stores have two sections of eggs. None are refrigerated. I’m not sure what the two sections mean. Is one hard-boiled eggs and the other not? I have no idea and I’m not brave enough to figure it out. A lot of times there will be a cracked open hard-boiled egg with the display to show you what you are getting.
Things I can’t find or are hard to come by: vanilla, any sort of prepackaged mix (cake, brownie, pancake, etc.), spaghetti sauce, teriyaki sauce, cereals (there is a really small selection), …