Going to WalMart

Well, we broke down and went to WalMart this weekend to buy a few things for our new gong yu (apartment). I’ll spare you the details about how the Chinese do not use washclothes or topsheets, and tell you that I can confirm that China is indeed one very populous country. WalMart was more crowded than an East Coast Mall on a Saturday afternoon before Christmas. THANKFULLY, people aren’t all vying for parking spaces (most people are on foot here), but still, the crowds were incredible. My normal polite state had to give way to self preservation mode just to make it out alive and with our intended purchases in hand.

Now, as far as I can make out after just a few weeks in China, the typical Chinese woman is fairly petite. But don’t let that fool you. They will take you out like an NFL linebacker to get to the shelf they are trying to look at. I had to throw some serious elbows to get to the hairdryer section, and once I had it in hand, I had to fight my way back out of the aisle to get back to our cart. I had to keep reminding myself that all these people aren’t being rude, they are just trying to survive in a very crowded country.


4 Responses to “Going to WalMart”

  1. 1 Jim March 2, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    At least all the products are locally made…
    When are you going to go to McDonald’s?

  2. 2 Melissa March 2, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Hi JM and Liz,

    My name is Melissa, I found your blog when you just had one post on it and have been excited to see where your adventures take you. My husband has been studying Mandarin for the last year and really wants to move to China. (Neither of us have even visited the country). We are expecting our first child in June. It is nice to see that someone else with a baby started out on this adventure!

    I’ll have to bring a top sheet with me when I go to China!

    Thanks for your postings!


  3. 3 jmliz March 6, 2008 at 3:45 am

    🙂 No plans to go to McDonald’s anytime soon! The food here is incredibly good – and beats McDonald’s fastfood any day of the week. It’s also surprisingly greasier than we’d anticipated… the Chinese takeout in the States is not any greasier than authentic Chinese food – although the lifestyle is such that the people aren’t about to get fat anytime soon – so much walking and activity. We’ve both lost weight already. And, it seems like the kinds of fats they use are healthier, and the portion sizes are more realistic than the gargantuan entrees we’re served in the States. People eat out a LOT here from what we can tell so far. The food is a great reason to come visit!

    As for WalMart, after another week here, we’ve gotten to know a lot of other Chinese stores (we’re currently trying to find a crib for Leo), and WalMart has a lot of stiff competition. I’m not so sure that in the long run they’ll do very well in China. Both of us have thought the better of our trip there (neither of us is a fan of WalMart’s business practices and impact on local business and environment). But yes, at least the products are mostly local!

  4. 4 jmliz March 6, 2008 at 3:52 am

    Melissa, Glad you found our blog! We hadn’t visited China either before this big move… but we’re happy to be here. Congratulations on your baby… there’s nothing like welcoming a new baby into the world!

    If as time goes on, you’ve got questions, feel free to be in touch. We’ve only lived here for a few short weeks though! I know our perspectives and experiences will evolve over time – especially as we get a better grasp on the language. (Like, I actually did find washclothes, they’re just not typical, and – after opening the packaging, it’s clear that they don’t sell fitted sheets – they are actually all flat sheets!)

    Anyway, good luck with your new baby and the adventures in your lives ahead.

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