grocery shopping

Grocery shopping in China is very interesting, especially if you’re a Black woman with braids. I have been in China for over a year. My first year here, I spent a lot of money on eating in Western restaurants. My tummy had a lot of trouble adjusting to the lack of food safety in China. I am used to it now (somewhat), and don’t have many problems anymore. Last year, we prepared our own food. I sometimes cooked, not always. Grocery shopping was interesting, for I didn’t (and still don’t) know the name of the vegetables. I just point and tell them how many I want.

In Suriname, I was the only one home during the day, so I usually cooked for five to six people. I tell you, it’s not fun. Hats off to all of the stay-at-home mothers, for I couldn’t do what they do on a daily basis. Though I like to cook, having to cook every single day felt like a chore. No joy was experienced from that.

grocery shopping

Some “fast food” that I prepared.

I can experience joy from cooking, I do enjoy it at times. In the picture above, is a fast meal I prepared. When I cook for myself, I don’t really pay attention to taste, ingredients, etc. Sure, I think it tastes good, or else I wouldn’t eat it. But it’s different than cooking for five other people. I used to cook chicken every day, my sister said she’s start clucking if she opened her mouth. All of my meals I prepare here, are “fast meals.” What does that mean? I don’t spend more than thirty minutes in the kitchen.

I was in the mood for fish one day, so I went grocery shopping.

My friends showed me where the market was last year. I met a vendor there, she waved to me, and I went over to her. What attracted me to her, was her big smile. The moment I stopped in front of her stall, she began talking, and talking, and talking. At that time, I didn’t understand much of the language, so I just smiled an nodded, the polite thing to do. But one day, I was craving some fish, so I went to the first floor.

grocery shopping

I had an interesting time grocery shopping

I went down to the first floor, was my first time. Almost two years here, and I’d never ONCE bought fish. Stories about Chinese eating dog, snake, rat, basically any and every single things that moves, are internationally known. I thought some of them were urban legends, until I saw it with my own eyes! SNAKE FOR SALE!

Grocery shopping has never been this interesting!

I had never seen snakes for sale before, so I started asking some questions. The vendor told me the snakes were still alive, for they don’t really sell things on ice, except shrimp. And guess what! Upon closer look, I saw the snake breathing! If I knew how to prepare it, or at least knew someone who could prepare it for me, I would have bought the snake! No kidding! On my way out, I saw some froggies! Great day grocery shopping! Oh, Thai people also eat frogs, and whatnot, not only Chinese.

grocery shopping

Frogs for sale!

What also made my grocery shopping interesting that day, was that many of the vendors (and customers) were more interested in my braids, than in selling their products.

How do you get your hair to look like that?

WOW! Black people have a lot of hair! Is it real?

What time do you get up in the morning to braid? Do you do it yourself?

Your hair is so interesting, can I touch it?

Ever since I started my natural hair journey, I’ve been receiving more and more attention from Chinese people. Now, I am a Black woman with A LOT OF HAIR on her (not so small) head. It really was an interesting day, LOL!

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My Life in China
Author: Tiara Ray

I truly believe it's never too late to follow one's dreams, I'm doing just that. Born and raised in the Caribbean, now living and studying in China. I love life and live it on my own terms. Cheers!

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    2 Responses

  1. Lost & Abroad says:

    It’s so neat to see what other cultures eat, especially when you have the chance to check it out right at the local market! When I first moved to Spain, I had a similar experience 🙂

    • Tiara Ray says:

      Hi! It is!!! I DO still want to try the snake and the frog! Do people in Spain also eat snakes and frogs? Or crickets? Where are you originally from?

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