Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Trip to the Grocery Store

Buying groceries around here can be a daily experience, which is ever so much fun.

Let me walk you through a typical visit. 

Since we have not bitten the bullet to buy a car, much less drive one, we rely on public or apartment provided transportation.  

To begin my journey, I hop aboard the apartment shuttle bus to our neighboring town of Stanley, carrying my empty bags to be reloaded with groceries. 

The nice bus driver man greets everyone as we settle in to enjoy our five minute drive. 

He makes two stops, the final being Stanley Plaza where the grocery store is located. 

Exit at the top of the complex, and take three escalators down to the second floor. Yep, escalators. 

Unless I need money. Then I'll stop on the third floor at the ATM. 

Folks, we aren't in Newnan anymore!

On the second floor, I have my choice of two places. We shall start our tour at A & M today. 

A & M is an American grocery store that only sells items in bulk. And only dry goods. Evidently, they buy shipping containers of items from Costco. So, what you found there one time, you may not find the next time. Just depends on what was on the container. 

I stopped there today for paper towels, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti sauce, and a few other comfort items from home. You know, like a big bag of M & M's. 

And, best thing, they box it all up and deliver it to me. After all, I can't carry home a package of 16 rolls of paper towels. 

Well, maybe I could but why bother?

Across the floor from A & M is the main grocery store. 

This is Taste. It carries everything you need. Plus things you don't need.

Personally, I don't need to buy a fully intact, albeit dead, fish. Blech. But, they are available at the meat counter if you feel a great desire to imbibe. Just don't invite me over. 

At Taste, I take a grocery cart (where all four wheels go in their own direction), and head down the aisles for produce, meat, frozen items, bread, wine, and more. 

Keeping in mind, of course, that whatever I buy, I have to carry home. Alone. 

Which means, I have to pick and choose the items I buy. And also explains why I am there so often. 

Stores don't like you to take pictures of their items but I did sneak this one of the cookie aisle. You know I don't skip that section. 

After waiting in line with a few Western moms and a bunch of Asian helpers (nanny/maid), I exit the store with my bags in tow. If you forget bags, you may purchase plastic ones at the checkout for fifty HK cents, which is the equivalent of about seven US cents. 

I haul my trusty bags up three escalators and await my chariot home. 

My ride home could be the shuttle bus if I'm timed my visit correctly. You see, he makes the trip to Stanley every thirty minutes. So, if I miss a pick up, I have to wait another thirty minutes for the next trip. 

Or, I could take the handy dandy red taxi. 

The shuttle bus man or the handy dandy taxi man drops me off at our building. 

The doorman rushes to open the door for me, pushes the elevator button for our floor, and sends me on my way. 

Elevator door opens on Floor 3 and I am greeted by my door. 

Groceries unpacked and new list started for another day. 

Likely that day will be tomorrow. 

Welcome to Hong Kong!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Pictures I Didn't Take

We've had a week of all six of us under one roof. For the first time in years. Even at home, we didn't have all of us for that long. So, you'd think I'd have documentation of this extraordinary experience. 

Nope. I have two pictures. One of all four kids when Alex arrived. And one at Disney. That's it. 

I had good intentions though. 

If I'd been a better mom, we would have shots to include:

*two big kids holding hands with two little kids while out and about

*smiles and giggles from four kiddos

*people taking pictures of the big ones in public (yep, for real---they are celebrities)

*four kids playing games together

*little ones cuddles up with big ones on the couch

*hanging on for dear life on taxi rides

*Alex playing drums on girls' heads

*strolling the mall in search of Dave's birthday gift and Anna's birthday cake

*my face on Space Mountain (well, it's Hyperspace Mountain here)

*Anna Grace navigating the Metro station (going the wrong way)

*six faces dripping with sweat in 90 degree weather but feels like 110

*taxi buddies--Abby said, "I love my taxi buddies (Alex and Dave). 

*Alex nailing a Chinese guy on bumper cars after the dude took his picture

*our furniture arriving and rental furniture leaving at the same time. Oh my. 

*Katie doing funky hair styles on short girls

*dinner on the waterfront

*riding the cable car over the mountain while at Ocean Park (think HK Sea World)-----I faced the floor the whole time

*the fish counter at the grocery store (alive and dead----yuck!!!)

*all the obvious stares from Chinese people upon seeing our family 

*the last hugs when Alex walked out the door this morning

Our next visit will be at Christmas time. Don't know where we will meet but it will happen. 

Until then, I'm going to pretend we moved to Hawaii. 

Because that's not as far from Georgia as Hong Kong. 

Still can't get home quickly but it makes it seem like we are closer. 

Go with it.......