Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shopping in Shanghai Part II

The holidays are starting here in Shanghai.  It's definitely not as big as in the US.  Businesses are not closed at all for Christmas, and people get only NY day off.  But, since Shanghai has a large ExPat community, the stores stock items for us.
Holiday aisle at Carrefore

Carrefore has an aisle with fake Christmas trees, decorations and ornaments.  VERY inexpensive, but I guess it's all made here anyway.  Went through the food section, and as always, took pictures.  The thing that always hits me first is how the market smells.  Lots of dried fish and seaweeds alongside tons of fresh produce.  Dried teas and all different types of mushrooms as well.  The seafood and meat sections are huge, but the prepared foods section is the largest.  You can go in and buy dimsum, noodles, roast meats and vegetables all ready to take home.  Many Chinese homes do not have an oven, and have very, very small kitchens.  Maybe only a double burner cooktop.  So all roasted / baked items are purchased outside the home and are considered a real treat.  In the late afternoon, I see people buying roast yams and squash from street vendors with BBQ carts on the back of their bikes.
dried fish and shrimp
dried baby squid

escape fail
not the pet section
entire aisle of cooking oil
A new UniqLo store has opened nearby.  UniqLo is a chain out of Japan that is very big in China.  There are some stores open in the US, in the NYC area and San Francisco.  They have really nicely made clothing for adults and kids - think Banana Republic but much cheaper.  The new store opened a week ago, and it was still crazy busy.  I went on a weekday morning, at 10:30 and the store opened at 10:00 - already packed.  Many people in Shanghai are very, very into fashion, but don't have the money to buy in the designer stores.  Stores like UniqLo and H&M are popular, and really successful here.

Yesterday, Jeri my plant lady came.  She owns a small plant shop and speaks some English.  She brought (6) beautiful, huge pointsettias, a new camellia bush and wood mulch for the back yard.  She planted the camellia bush, and spread all the wood chips for me.  Everything was $61.00USD.  She is also trying to find a real Christmas tree for me.

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