One of the things that is so convenient about living in America is how you can go to one huge store and buy such a wide variety of things. I miss that. Already.
Imagine you have a list like this –
- cardstock paper
- dish detergent
- pain killer (like Tylenol)
- spray paint
In America, you pop down to Walmart or Target and get everything on this list at one convenient stop. And more than likely, there are dozens of choices for each item on your list.
Not the same here. In China, there are generally not stores that carry such variety.( One exception would be Metro which, of course, is a foreign store and isn’t in my city.)
If I have a list like the one above, each item requires a different shop. I can get dish detergent when I buy food at my grocery store. But none of the other items are there. I have to go to a drug store for pain killer, a phone shop for the phone, a department store for the pillowcases, a stationery store for the glue, an automotive shop for the spray paint, and a computer market for the paper.
Can you see why shopping takes up so much time? And remember I’m traveling on foot or by bus. So if I buy more than I can easily carry, I’ve got to go home, drop off my things and start over.
This is our paper store. It’s inside the computer market and is the only place I know of where I can buy 80 gram paper.
Most stores sell an inferior 70 gram paper that I won’t use. Call me a paper snob. I want quality paper. Even though she is my supplier, she had to call someone to bring some over from the warehouse. You can tell that the 80 gram paper is not a big seller.
I usually buy four reams at a time so I don’t have to go back so often. (That stocking up mentality at work!) But since we really needed to do other errands, we could only manage one ream.