2pm here and I’ve finally recovered from my supermarket experience!  Now I KNOW that I’m in China and whilst I don’t expect to see western-style food, I did have a vague notion that I might recognise something in the supermarket apart from chocolate and crisps!

A taxi to the supermarket costs 50p – sharing it with a random person as that seems to be what happens in Jingian (it was the same on the way back, the taxi stopped to pick up a random person and then dropped him off at the bus station which is very close to my apartment).  I had a list – of essentials.  Toilettries are on the ground floor, and to say it’s un-nerving being followed around by at least 10 shop assistants whilst you’re trying to work out what is shampoo or conditioner, and having various bottles of stuff shoved in front of you is weird,  I think I bought shampoo and body lotion but then again, I could be in for a surprise in the shower!

Upstairs to the food section.  This is no Walmart, the only supermarket I’ve been in in China.  After around half an hour of trying to identify food stuffs, I managed to buy yogurts, some sort of processed spam type of meat, coffee (again), pepsi (for Susan!)and another pile of the pot-noodle type of meal that I feel I’m living off.  Goodness know what the microwave in the apartment is for as there are no ready meals, nothing that looks even like chicken or pork that I could stir-fry and to my shame I couldn’t even find rice.  I’m craving foodstuffs like vegetables, mashed potato, soup, simple plain comfort food – lunch was some sort of sweet bread thing with what seemed like sausage in it.

During the week it will be fine as I can eat at the school but I will have to ask Mark my FAO about buying food.  However on the plus side I did buy new towels, a little saucepan to boil eggs in, and a new bowl and plate as that sort of thing is very limited in the apartment.  Now if I can only work out what on earth milk looks like then I can attempt scrambled egg!

Thankfully around the corner from the apartment is a little supermarket that I know sells eggs, and a fruit shop a little further down.  But even the bananas are odd – they have what seems like a stalk going through the middle of them so it’s so difficult to eat them.  But hey, I survived the supermarket, it was extremely cheap and I was photographed about six times!

On the much more positive side, thanks to the help of some friends, I’ve now ascertained that M&S, ASOS and Lands End will all mail to China and I remembered that a lot of ebay sellers are from China, so emailed someone last night and got a lovely reply back this morning saying no problem in mailing clothing to here and sh even gave some recommendations for warm jumpers and coats from her site.

So once I’ve spoken to Mark the FAO on Monday and found out to where anything I buy should be sent, I’m going to order a lovely dressing gown and winter coat as unbelievably it’s starting to get really cold already at night here.  In the supermarket they had fleecy blankets for £2 each so a supply of them as well will be being purchased 🙂

So the rest of the weekend will be quiet.  I’ve found all my USBs with my teaching stuff on them apart from one which I know was in my purse at some stage but as the internet connection seems to be working all the time (at the moment) it’s not a problem for researching for lesson plans.  My first class is 10.30 on Monday and that’s the only one that day, and then two on Tuesday.

Oh the elusive deodrant didn’t appear in the supermarket…..although perhaps it did exist and the shop assistants were determined to scare me out of their department!