Saturday, February 06, 2010

A new way of living

I never anticipated the significant impact on the buying and storing of food these things make:
1. a car
2. a large refrigerator
3. cupboards

The first time we lived in China, we didn't have a car. Our purchasing from the local store was limited to what we could carry in our two hands, or two hands and a backpack. My grocery bill was rarely highly than $25 per visit.

Our refrigerator held about as much as 3 dormitory fridges, with one of the three being freezer space. But it was double hinged so you could open it from either side which was SWEET. I digress. The point is, you could buy about a week's worth of meat. And nothing taller than a soda can.

When we moved into our first apartment, the kitchen was devoid of cupboards. We had a few made - enough for dishes and cooking stuff. We had a buffet that held any other food.

I mentioned last week's Carrefour chicken expedition recently. There's no way I could have fit the amount of chicken I purchased in our previous refrigerator. Nor would I have had any place to store the massive amount of food we bought today at Metro (like Sam's Club). And if we weren't borrowing a friend's car, I cringe at thinking about putting all of that into a taxi who would drop me off at the gate, leaving me to make about 5 trips in to my house while hoping no one stole what I left on the street.

This whole idea of stocking up - buying what non-perishable items we might use in a month - is something which has slowly left me in Asia. But we do have a car, and a large refrigerator, and while our kitchen isn't huge, there's space for food! I can't explain what a mental shift this is for me. Erik was overjoyed to see how much we bought (he really hates it when we don't have food in the house). I was feeling a little anxious. It's hard to spend 680 kuai in one place here! But I have to remind myself it isn't just for the next 4-5 days like our shopping used to be.

So my plan is that once a month I will hit Metro (for economy sized things), Carrefour (for that amazing chicken) and Jenny Lou's (imported goods - for everything else!). Then theoretically the other items I can buy weekly at local stores. It's a new way of living. I think I'm going to like it.


Kevin said...

Hi Gina, i love reading your blog; especially enjoyed your description of shopping at Carrefour. Hey, Lisa, Rylie (our 10 yr girl) and I will be in Beijing around April 10-12, plus a few more days, either before or after those dates. We would really enjoy meeting you guys. We'll see if we can all work it into our schedule. Thanks for your encouragement to us.
Kevin E

Gina Marie said...


We are blissfully not busy in April right now! :) So we will look forward to seeing your family. Give us a call when you get in town.

Carrie said...

I LOVE Metro and Carrefour!

I know what you mean about the refrigerators---mine is teeny tiny. And don't get me started on the size of my stove...