I had quite a few traumatic and pleasant experiences of shopping in China, but all none the less very bizarre. On the first day of being in Jinan we went to the local supermarket, pretty similar to ASDA or what not, but I had the oddest experience of my life... Being able to pick the freshest food I could want. I don't eat fish anyway which is a good job, and pretty much through the whole trip my saying was 'fish are friends' as an excuse for me not to eat weird and wonderful things out there. Don't worry, there will be a food post up and coming shortly - you won't want to miss that one out!
So as I said above, my first day after a horrid long haul flight (I never travel well), we had a quick walk to the local supermarket (at least 45 minutes away?!). The shop looked great, they even had small make up counters in selling Rimmel and Maybelline (overpriced no doubt!) which cheered me up quite a lot. It was over several floors and pretty much had everything you needed. Not too dissimilar to our supermarkets over here nowadays but they were much bigger. After a quick browse around the store we decided to get something for dinner and a breakfast snack. And this was what scared me.
Yep, being able to pick my own turtle to devour for tea. Quite luckily they prepare it there and then for you so it's all ready to cook. I won't lie, this freaked me out. And when I saw a woman picking up and inspecting frogs, I did feel pretty nauseous. However, nothing like having the freshest of foods I suppose! FISH ARE FRIENDS.
What did cheer me up to no end though was the price of Iced Tea. This is my favourite stuff and in the UK costs around £1.80 per bottle. This I bought for 10p, one very happy Michelle. Oh and over in China, a bottle of beer costs 18p. 18p! You call all thank me now kids!
THE MALLS. Oh the malls. Where do I actually start? Oh yeah, on the point that I couldn't afford to spend any money in any of them? That might be a good place. Yep, malls everywhere in China are high end marketed to western folks. All the mainstream ones are anyway, unless you know where the locals shop for cheap stuff, which unfortunately we didn't have time to. But small underground malls are brilliant to go into and have a browse. These are the places that sell trendy gear and have tattoo shops, we were happy with that one!
The stores were pretty amazing though and I took a zillion photos of pretty much nothing but escalators, stairs, and pretty things. One place I was happy about finding was the Sanrio store in Shanghai, I love Hello Kitty. I LOVE HELLO KITTY. And there was no embarrassment me spending quite a substantial amount of my wage in that store. Just look at the photo, I was one happy bunny!
The last of my experience shopping was the cultural market. Ah it saddens me that I didn't take photos but I am so glad I didn't, there were some pretty nightmarish experiences in there that I can only have nightmares about, and trust me, I do. All in all thought, it was nice, we did pick up a pretty stamp that has our surname on it which I will never use but looks nice! Haha.
One thing that did get me so upset was seeing animals everywhere for sale. Dogs and terrapins/tortoises. All for pets may I add! But still, it was rather warm out there and I just felt sorry for every creature and wanted to take them home. No doubt they did find good homes though as there were a lot of children begging for them!