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!