shopping puzzles

After having had no internet for 2 days (apparently the company cut us off-maybe for over -using  the “software which allows  me to take my scrabble turns”),we are now back online. We also suddenly had no mobile phones this morning,but apparently we only had to add more money into our sim cards with the help of my student assistant, so now we are online and reachable.

Yesterday we went down town on the number 7 bus,with the advice of Patcrick the Irish teacher,and found the huge Century Mart department store which reputedly has everything we cannot find on campus.

After wandering in a daze from floor to floor we discovered a few useful items such as chicken breast (cheaper than all other parts,as the Chinese prefer bones in their meat), lovely fresh fish,baguettes and various other exciting things such as mouthwash and M and Ms chocolates.It is quite possible there were lots more useful things,but since all the labels are in Chinese we are a bit lost. It can be a bit like potluck,as you can buy things thinking you are buying breakfast cereal (so far not located here) and discover you have bought walnut powder.Anyway we bought lots of fresh veg,some pasta sauce,mouthwash and one or two other exciting things.

We have discovered that Chinese eggs are much smaller than Israeli ones,that vegetables and fruit sometimes look less perfect but taste a whole lot better (like things used to taste when we were young?) and that Chinese people don’t eat breakfast cereal or much bread.

WE also wanted to buy some foam rubber to upholster our wooden sofa and chairs as our bums are suffering a bit,but don’t know where to buy that.Tonight we are going to the students’ movie club to watch and discuss a movie with them.WE were going into Hangzhou today but since I had a lousy night’s sleep (don’t ask me why) we decided that maybe we will go tomorrow.

Back to work,to choose whether to teach Sir Gawain or Edgar Allen Poe this week….. that’s all for now,folks!


4 thoughts on “shopping puzzles

  1. Can’t you just get some cushions for the sofa and chairs? Probably a lot easier to find. Any success on finding health(y) food apart from fruit and veg?

  2. I guess in the bigger cities and larger shops they do have something mentioned in English as well or at least someone who knows English to help out with what you want to buy or even help in deciding which product is better by trying them out (possible sometimes though not always and not for everything!!!) but I guess in the place you are in it may be difficult or almost impossible. You are right, the Chinese do love their bones and skin too!!! I just love everything boneless (unlike Piya who keeps on chewing on and crushing the bones to get at the marrow all the time!!!). Are there any home deliveries possible with booking on the internet? Maybe that would help if you could ask some of your students to do that for you since you would not be able to understand the Chinese websites.

  3. Well Aadil we were in Hangzhou which is a pretty big city,6 million people and there the situation vis a vis English was even worse than in Lin’an.In fact in Lin’an we have street names in English whereas in HZ they don’t.Also the taxi drivers there don’t understand anything we say there.I guess we could try buying online at taobao but we actually don’t even know our postal address yet!

  4. The first thing I got written down in Chinese (and English) was the address where we were staying at a friend’s place in Shanghai and every time we used a hotel we would take a couple of their business cards to show the people or taxi drivers when asking for directions!!!

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