We’re off to the supermarket!

The adventures of Bill in Beijing…

We’re off to the supermarket!

Going to the supermarket in the morning in Beijing, on a weekday, means exactly what it means in the states: old people who can’t drive shopping carts. Yay. And that’s pretty much where the similarities end.


The first thing you notice that’s different is that you get on a sort of airport-like people mover, that takes you up a floor. The first floor is retail shops, with the supermarket taking up the 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes 4th floor. I’ve been to three now and they were all laid-out the same way. Footage is a commodity in any big city, so you build up.

On the plus side, because the place is filled with senior citizens, and I think because they use the metric system, I’m like 6’2” here so I can see everything. The down side is that, yep, it’s all in damn Chinese.


We’re going to have marine lives (fish, I tell you with the translations it’s something) for lunch. Past the giant bins of nuts, past the giant big of, what is that, rocks? Next to the meat section, and oh, you can tell the meat section by the carcasses hanging on a rack and the giant pile of some sort of animal ribs, is the fish section.

My fish

Ok, the fish section has fish. What I mean is that they have giant tanks of fish, like swimming around. They also have shrimp, turtles, and some wiggly little grey things from a sci-fi movie. They have ‘frozen’ fish too, but frozen is in scare quotes for a reason. Oh that fish (a ‘frozen’ one) looks good, let’s get that one. WTF?! It just flopped out of my hand. Yo, that thing is still alive man! Soo, let’s grab a different ‘frozen’ fish. *poke poke* Cool, it isn’t moving, we’ll grab this one. We find some Coke, a bottle of soy sauce (we find one with English on it) and a sack of rice.


We go up another floor on the people mover and check-out. Cashier rings us up and since we can’t count past 5 yet, we do the two fingers point to your eyes, then point to the register. She spins it around and the total is 22 RMB. We have a fish that’s enough for 2, a jug of soy sauce that will probably last until summer, and a 5 kilo (about 11 pound) sack-o-rice that will feed a family of 13 for a year. That’s just under $3.50 for those playing at home.

Back home we fire up the super duper high tech hot plate (ugh, we’ll cover that one later) and pull out the fish. The plan is to cut-off the head and tail and fry ‘er up over a bed of rice. Hmmm, wait a second… This fish still has scales. Oh, it’s not gutted either. Ahhh, I was suppose to take my fish over to that dude to have it cleaned I bet. Into the freezer Mr. Fish goes.

Like I said, we’re heading to the noodle place out front for lunch! *sigh*

Full supermarket gallery


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