May 17, 2010
Rules of Shopping in China
The grocery list was too long, so this morning I went shopping at Carrefour. It was a quiet morning in the store as I pushed my cart looking for the items on my list without having the navigate others' carts, kids, grandmas, or baskets. It was a very pleasant morning.
When I say a store is quiet in China, it is probably equal to a regular week night in a store in America.
Universal Rule Part I: When you don't need help, you're overwhelmed with helpers.
I turned down the soap aisle looking for dish soap and toilet bowl cleaner. Yes, they're both on the same aisle here. I easily found the dish soap and then went on to find the cleaner. Immediately I was surrounded by 4 workers each hawking the best cleaner. The workers were impressed with my Chinese "bu yao" ("I don't want that"). I quickly grabbed the cheapest 2 pack I could find, much to the delight of one of the workers, and headed out of the aisle.
Universal Rule Part II: When you need help, no one's around.
I realized I had not picked up the shampoo, so I turned to find the shampoo section. So many choices, but somehow my favorite brand Rejoice was no where to be found. And there were no workers hawking me this time to ask where to find my shampoo. I picked up M'Lynn's shampoo and continued shopping in peace.
I even checked out it record time and for that I can rejoice!