The author writes, Grigory Potemkin:
I live in China. And that, folks, is another planet.
Today, we are with you will "travel" to the Chinese store.
And then you need to explain what it is.
All grocery stores in China can be divided into three types.
The first - is "The Shop Around the Corner" - such a small eatery, which sells everything, from peanuts, ending a mousetrap. It's all mixed up. And the devil is easy to break a leg. The owners of these eateries have no idea about the terms "display of goods" or "customer loyalty". They are not soared over the management of their institutions. These shops are in every home. Each, without exception. Take it 20-30 square meters. And I try to have nothing to buy. Well, maybe the water.
The second type of Chinese grocery stores - a modern hypermarkets. Such as "Wal-Mart" or "Kerifor". These palaces of consumption. Tens of thousands of square meters of retail space. Cool air. Perfectly clean floors. Brand new Equipment. Bursting with food shelves. A huge range. In such stores foreigner can buy such a rare in China cheese! Or fresh milk! Or even the olives! This global network that keep his bar, regardless of where they are.
And the third type - the most interesting for us - it is something between a hypermarket and "eatery Uncle Liao." This is the supermarket of local tailoring. This is a fairly large shops with a rather large range. But the point is that they were sharpened by the Chinese. And they're like nobody reflect the characteristics and flavor of local food culture. Everything in them is true the Chinese!
There is what we are going.
Shops, where I go, called (yes Xue Cheng Shan Chan). Translate it can be as "campus mall." It is located just a couple of stops from my house. In appearance he was not remarkable. And even sign his more than modest. But everyone knows this store. He's here already God knows how many years.
We go through the open door of the shop and down the escalator in the basement. Lovely girl in a red uniform kindly drove us to the shopping cart and smiling, he says: "Huanin guanine" - welcome! On the day she repeats the phrase several thousand times.
We take the truck out of her hands and replied: "Sisi". We are polite to you foreigners! A "Sisi" in Chinese - thanks. And do not laugh.
And here we go into the first trading hall. There are several sales areas, and they are located one after the other. To get to the banks, we have to go through each of them. That is logical.
The first trading room - clothes. Here sells clothing incredibly poor quality. Pants with different leg lengths, running "at once", synthetic socks "Perfume", footwear, insoles, T-shirts ... and right of us - the whole showcase underwear. But we do not need to. No, really, do not even look in that direction, otherwise then you will cease to seriously treat the Chinese girls!
Clothing this is very cheap. Both in terms of quality and in terms of price. In general, this is what we need this popular store. Buy it always. Always between the rows with hangers are Chinese or Chinese women, and applied to his T-shirt, shirt or pants. The dressing is not here. Excuse me!
We go through this department with an empty basket, wheels rattling on the floor of the truck. He is not interested in us. We dress in other places! After all, right?
Next - Department of shampoos, shower gels, toothpastes, rinses, and household cleaning products. The big difference from Russia is not here. The same "Dosya" the same "Dove" and the same "Seyvgard." All the world's brands in adjacent shelves. The only difference is that the "Nivea" is written in hieroglyphs. And I guess the first time that it was "Nivea", can only be on the logo. Well, to understand what it is: a shaving gel or gel aftershave, without electronic dictionary is practically impossible. Or come into the store with a dictionary, or by trial and error!
Once a week I washed his head with air conditioning. And while grumbling about Chinese quality. Until finally, I did not translate hieroglyphics, written in a plastic bottle.
In addition to well-known brands, there is a few dozen local brand, China. Surely they, too good. But I do not ever buy. And today we do in this section is not necessary. And we pass through it, still rattling wheels across the floor.
We pass through the Department of dishes. Here it makes sense to stay at the window with chopsticks. They are here not just a lot. There are a lot of them! We assume? Exactly? Are you sure? Well, well ... 128 varieties of Chinese chopsticks. And wood. And plastic. And metallichekie. And round and square and simple, and with a thread. Incredible! But spoons just two types - large and small.
Immediately sell rice cookers. Well, this is all pure Chinese invention. This small capacity liter three-four, with a heating element and a toggle switch inside and outside timer. It is easy to cook rice. Moreover, it can be prepared in very different ways. From crisp, to the state of a homogeneous slurry. This slurry Chinese love to eat for breakfast. They are prepared for its water, sugar and no salt. These rice cookers have every Chinese family. They are sold in any shop. There is an entire industry. Industry rice cookers!
But today we do not need a rice cooker. We already have one at home. And we move on. We pass endless shelves with all household utensils: buckets, mops, watering cans. Turn right near the department of electrical appliances. We pass through the five dozen hair dryers and past a display of Chinese mobile phones. Once again I wonder prices. Here the price of phones starting from 80 yuan (350 rubles). But buying them is impossible: it is disposable cell phones.
... And finally, go to the grocery department! And then the fun begins. So, let's go in order.
Large showcase with wines. Only China. 70% of Chinese wine - is the brand "Great Wall". The remaining 30% - other brands, but also Chinese. Rarely when the showcase will meet French, Spanish or Australian wine. This happens. But, nevertheless, it is very rare. Chinese wine cost from 25 yuan to 250. In this case, for whatever price you have bought either a bottle of red, it will not be tasty. It will sour nedobrodivshim, sawdust inside anything but just not tasty. I do not experiment. If you really want to take the best white. It is checked.
70% of China's beer - a brand of "Qingdao". It is a brand of the federal scale. The largest beer brand in the world. The remaining 30% - local producers, which are in almost every province. In Xiamen, the city where I live, - a "Tsedrin." Another interesting fact is that a large bottle of 650 ml is on the yuan cheaper than the small - 330 ml. Chinese arithmetic, which I do not understand. With that, the beer in these bottles equal one hundred percent! And this is not one-off event. So always.
In addition to the "Qingdao" and "Tsedrin" there is also the "Heineken", "Budweiser", "Amstel", "Crown". All these varieties are welded in China. All of them are at least four times more expensive than the "Qingdao". Buys them only a glamorous crowd. Take a couple?
Once I started with alcohol. But you do not think bad, just that these departments - the first on the road. Then showcase strong thirty different varieties of rice vodka. Though rice wine and differs in classes, but it tastes equally nasty. Those who at least once in their lives tried rice vodka, I'm sure, would agree with me. I'm completely indifferent to alcohol. But rice wine - is beyond me. Although the Chinese drink it. And with pleasure. But certainly not in such "industrial" scale as in Russia.
It is interesting to pay attention to the price. Half a liter of 67% (!) Degree vodka worth 8 yuan (35 rubles). This year and a half living in China I have seen drunk only twice. Both times they went far out of the gate, and from expensive restaurants, obviously, after the corporate parties. I think here we all have something to think about!
Noodles - a symbol of China. Showcase with noodles in our shop as a little Wall of China - nearly endless. I'm not going to count how many varieties there. It may take too much time. But more than half of them - this is the so-called rice noodles. The taste of it is quite different from the traditional, in our understanding, noodles. But I like it very much. I usually cook it and then fry! And then I sucked endless spaghetti lips, helping himself with chopsticks. Mmmm ... Yum yum!
This instant noodles. Brenda "Doshirak" in China, and there seems to be a purely Russian brand. But there are thousands of other manufacturers sudden noodles. The Chinese adore her! They grind it with machine-gun speed. Anytime and anywhere. Consider how many different kinds of sudden noodles sold in our shop - it totally useless. Simply measure the showcase moves and multiply by the height.
If you think that I can identify all that is sold in our store - you are wrong. I understand only 50% of what I see. But that's progress! Because in the first few months spent in China, I understand even less! All Chinese stores selling a lot of products that are impossible to identify the alien. I can not say exactly which of them delicious. But I know that not worth buying. For example, here are the sweets. Why do you think they painted a cow? Just? No, not just because!
And because of these chocolates - meat. This is a favorite Chinese delicacy. They cut the beef into small cubes, then vyalyat it and then dipped in powdered sugar! And wrapped in a beautiful shiny wrappers. With the ladybug. Lovely candy. "Mu-mu" in Chinese. Do not take them. More than one you do not eat.
Also like candy, there are many different packaged products, the origin of which I do not understand. Now I do not buy them practically. Before, I was wondering, but now is not so. Usually, it's something sour or sweet and sour. Or something very dramatic. Any very Chinese snacks. In general, if you do not understand something, do not strain. Relax and walk past.
Chicken legs - a feature of Chinese gastronomy. Chicken legs preparing a million different ways. They are salt, pepper, smoked, fried, boiled, stewed and even what you want. Chicken legs everywhere! It's just tough! They even hang in the confectionery department. Next to the candy and chocolate. Sealed in plastic. This sweet Chicken legs!
Candy and chocolate
Sweet I love more than anything else. Especially after training and exercise. But in China, with a sweet - an ambush! Here there is little or no such sweets, what we understand them. Here are the showcases with a sweet in our china shop: tremendous boxes, brim full of plastic bubbles as bananas, apples, pears and various other fruits. You take such a plastic fruit, teeth gnaw a hole in it and drink the contents. What's inside? Bright red or bright green or bright yellow sweet jelly. Like the taste? As a shampoo with sugar.
- Mom, what we have for tea?
- As usual, shampoo with the sugar, son.
But not all that bad. Of course not. I am no longer fooled. Then there are the chocolate "Dove" and "Snickers" and "M & M's", and various snacks. But, by the way, the cost of a chocolate "Riters sport" can be tightly lunch in mid-good restaurant.
Rice and cereals
Rice and cereals are sold by weight. We come to the boxes. Pour as much rice as we needed to weigh and glue a price tag to the bag. Figure 6 types sold in bulk and packaged in 20 types of packages. It's great for the price is different but at the same time, does not differ in taste.
Dead blackened chicken I call pterodactyls. They are beautiful and terrible at the same time. And I always get stuck with dead near the windows smoked chicken for a few seconds, looking at how they are nightmares! I have no idea what they taste. I never bought them. I think that if I brought home a pterodactyl, Natalie would just did not understand me.
Fish in our shop - the sea. Fish and river and sea. All she always delicious and always fresh. We can buy either live or already dead and cooled fish. But in any case it will not be frozen. Thus it costs on average either same or less than the meat. There are several dozen varieties of fish, but I do not know how they are called. For me it is not so important. I just take the fish by the tail with two fingers, dip it in a bag and go to the scales.
Severe Chinese rubber boots and a bloody apron (main in the fish department) weighs her price tag sticks and wishes me a good appetite. And then I carry it home, and Natalie prepares it with ginger and soy sauce. Mmmmmm! ..
Shells - it is positive! You can stand 20 minutes opposite the aquarium with shells and admire. What they are beautiful! The eye can not take! At the same time you will not have to torture the idea of responsibility for the death of a living being. After all, they are not sentient beings in the full sense. Well, at least not as lively as a tortoise.
Turtle soup grateful Chinese wife prepared their husbands. It is considered that it is useful to men. Turtles in our store of incredible beauty. I think - these are the turtles that you can buy in the shops "Matroskin" for 300 rubles each. Here they are sold in bulk and buckets. I do not want to think that someone is killing them and eating. But, nevertheless, it is. And tonight, this beauty will hum in someone's stomach Chinese.
Toads croak. Sit in a deep barrel directly at each other. And croak. Doom and melancholy. I try to pass and do not look into the eyes of frogs. And I do not buy them, too. Just I can not imagine how they were, with the living, to deal with. Although, I must admit, sometimes in the Chinese restaurants I order a frog, and it consistently delicious! Toads do we have here are sold in two forms: green ...
... And very green!
About Chinese tofu know everything. He made from soy milk, and his Chinese downright adore! It is nutritious, cheap and tasty. Although about the last many will disagree with me. Tofu, rather tasteless. Taste, as such, it does not. But in the process of preparing it acquires the taste and smell of those products, which is being prepared. For example, if you fire tofu with potatoes and mushrooms, he will get a taste of mushrooms. If you fry it with meat, it will taste just like meat. That's a tricky product. Tofu in China - more than the product. It is a symbol! Showcase, which sells tofu, about the same size as the window, where the meat is sold. A pound of tofu costs 2 yuan (9 rubles).
Meat in China - a 80% - pork. And 15% - chicken. Beef there is practically no. At least, in our shop it never happens. And the beef we buy only "Metro" or "Kerifor." But the meat too, always fresh and never frozen. Big and beautiful pieces of meat lying in the open windows on the ice. You can choose any and pointing his finger to the butcher, asking to cut it to your desire. The butcher chop chops for Soup, narezhet portioned meat slices or cook stuffing. All this is being done quickly and directly with you. The cost of such meat in the average 18-20 yuan per kilogram. If you want to convert into rubles - multiply by four and a half.
Salads in our Chinatown supermarket sold in special showcases. You choose the one you like (in this case you can try the special disposable chopsticks), and impose his own in a metal container. Then, "chief of salads" Chinese weighs and packs it into a bag. Chinese salad made of "is not clear why." They exude a sharp, sour and pungent smell. They look absolutely dreadful. But, damn it, what are they delicious! I've tried everything.
All, except, perhaps, the "salad of chicken paws." Some in my inner barrier on the paws.
Department of fruit in the store - the largest of the departments. It has everything: watermelons, melons, apples, pears, bananas, mangoes, papayas, coconuts, peaches, plums, sweet tomatoes, cherries, oranges, pomelo, kiwifruit, avocado and a dozen fruit whose name I do not know in Russian. They are all fresh. All of them are delicious. And they are very inexpensive. For example, say a kilo of my favorite broom is less than three yuan. But the durian (the one that smells fresh poop) - is the most expensive fruit.
It costs more than 40 yuan per kilogram. And sold already butchered and tightly wrapped in plastic.
Fruit department - my favorite. Then somehow always cheerful!
Vegetable Department is second in size except fruit. And it also has everything. Buyers can choose the vegetables themselves, and weigh them on a special scale.