Expensive food, a cute car and animal stories....

Just a few random pictures and stories from the past two days of life here in Jinqiao....

I have a love/hate relationship with Pic Fresh market.  It's conveniently located right next to my apartment building (love).  I have access to food regardless of rain, snow, sleet, shine or typhoon (love).  It's nice and organized, with just enough items to do a pretty complete supermarket run, without bright yellow signs screaming out special prices and people running me over with shopping carts, as in the case of Carrefour (love).  There are American, European, Australian products (love).  

The prices?  HATE.

My American food craving got the best of me!  

Lox, guacamole, whole-wheat bread, veggie chili, cheese and tortilla chips set me back 290.60rmb (plus .30rmb for the plastic shopping bag-I use them for garbage).

$45.70!!!! OR, worse yet, 36€!!! If all bought all of this in Eroski, it would have cost 6€.  Even if I splurged, and bought these same six items in Mercadona, I probably would have spent 8€.

AND.. to add further insult to injury, the guacamole and whole wheat bread were not even good! The guacamole has a cream cheese base (eww) and the bread was stale and had no flavor.    

In all fairness, I always feel ripped off like this when I shop in Whole Foods.  Case in point; one time I spent $50 on waffles, strawberries, bread and milk.  HOW??? I do not know.  At least the quality of their products is always consistently excellent, and extremely healthy without chemicals, preservatives, etc (at least that's the justification of their outrageous prices).  I guess I'll always be a Trader Joe's shopper! 

In any event, I consoled my food angst with a strong cup of cafĂ© con leche, and felt better instantly.  I am so happy with the little mustache man.  My Bialetti kettle was the smartest purchase I made all summer in Europe.  I bought it in my family's town of Padula, for only 9€!  Take that Starbucks/Coffee Beanery/Costa Coffee!  No more 45rmb cups of coffee for this gal (equivalent to $7.10- just for a  medium size!).

In other news, I stopped short when I saw this Mini Cooper...

Possibly the cutest one I've ever seen.  I posed next to one last summer when I was in San Francisco:

I like this one much better with the stock wheels and the white trim around the wheel well and on the hood of the car.  SO CUTE!! If I ever get a car again, I want a Mini!

If you've ever read any of my other blog posts, you may notice that I am a dog lover.  In particular, my heart is filled with joy when I am with my dog Dior.  He is now referred to as Didi, so I sound less pretentious (LOL!) and coincidentally, Didi means little brother in Chinese, which is kind of suiting for him.  Although he is my dog-son, and not my dog-brother.

I digress.

It makes me so happy to see him playing with kids.  It makes me even happier when people are not afraid to pet him and try to play with him, as in America and Europe.  Here, my poor dog is so lonely!  Many Chinese people in my apartment complex are terrified of him.  Some have gone to the extreme of trying to kick him.  Others just walk quickly on the other side of the path, and advert eye contact.  The management of the apartment complex have gone so far to put up a ridiculous sign in the elevators to remind residents of polite dog ownership etiquette.  

It is really hilarious:

I know he's super intimidating...

but c'mon he's not a pitbull!  

If anything, the Chinese reaction to my dog makes me feel even more sorry for dogs who are misunderstood (like pitbulls, rottweilers, etc) and for their owners who strive to overcome stereotypes of certain breeds.

Today, D tried to make friends with two kittens outside of the East West Chinese restaurant.  There are always stray cats hanging around.  I know he HATES cats, but I wasn't sure how he would react with kittens.  He was trying to come closer, and I put my hand out to pet the kittens, and they hissed like wild tigers at me! WOW! not exactly the reaction I was expecting from cutesy little kittens. D went bananas and started to bark at them, so we high-tailed it out of there!  At least he's a good watch dog against cats!  I'm not sure about anything else.

So here's to the comforts of America/NY... where you can eat junk food, rent a Mini cooper and go to the dog park, all for less than I paid at Pic Fresh.

1 comment

  1. That Mini Cooper is too cute for its own good! What more if it has car lashes? If I’d get a new car, I’d get a Mini as well. It might possess an adorable styling, which is very fitting for a woman, but it can fly you off to your destination. -->Stelle