If I had to describe Chinese trade markets in one word it would be overwhelming.
Anders and I went to a sporting goods store today to buy equipment for badminton. Watch out Andrew I’ll be a pro by the time you arrive. I knew there was a kitchen market across the street from where we were and Anders and I decided to give it a go. I just wanted to look. Ben pointed us in the right direction for what a home cook would need because in the same area there is a market that caters to hotels. Actually I could have used that in Switzerland because I feel like I ran a hotel. That’s not a complaint, I’m just stating fact. We could see from the car that it was going to be a huge place but we weren’t prepared. I went in the first store that was full of white porcelain dinnerware. That alone had too much choice. I was only looking for a little white creamer with a lid. As usual when I’m faced with too much choice, I started to shut down mentally. That was one of dozens of stores that sold white dinnerware. When we really got started walking into the bowels of the “market” I became comatose.
I meant to take a picture with my phone and was so glazed I forgot. From what we could see it was probably the size of 2 football fields. Across the parking area was another 2 football fields of shops and across the street from that was yet another kitchen market with about 4 football fields worth of individual suppliers of kitchen ware. They sell anything from restaurant size appliances and equipment to things for the regular person. We went into about 5 shops and I had to call it quits after 45 minutes. I wasn’t planning on buying anything anyway but I walked away feeling a little disappointed. I was disappointed in myself and the market. Why can’t they just have a market where there are perhaps 10-15 stores and be done? Why must there always be hundreds of stalls all selling the same stuff? Don’t they know that I want to buy but can’t when there is sensory overload? Why can’t I figure out how to deal with this? By now I know what the markets will be like. I’ve been here for 2 1/2 months and have been to too many not to be prepared mentally. I need a game plan. I live in the country where all our labels say, “Made here.” I want to take advantage of that while we live here but it’s impossible.