Mr. Right is a creeper


I thought it might be interesting to show you what I’m up against when I’m food shopping. To put it simply, a lot. I have no idea sometimes what I’m buying. When we lived in Switzerland the packaging was written in 3 of the 4 official languages and occasionally all 4. They were German, French, Italian, and Romansch. Between them I had a good shot at not only knowing what I was buying and the ingredients, but if there were cooking directions I could decipher them as well. In other words, I managed. Sometimes I don’t have a clue here.

I didn’t need to buy this item and I don’t even know what  is in it. I was in a section and the aisle marker just said Asian Food. The best they could do in a food store in China is “Asian Food”? I may be wrong but I’m thinking about 90% of the inventory is “Asian Food.” Not much of a help other than it was in English. I roasted chicken wings the other night for dinner and decided to put it to the test. I was going to put some on a few for Anders to try. I knew there were pepper seeds in it but when I opened the jar (following the only English word, thanks I think I could have figured that one out all by my lonesome) and tasted it it was hot! It also had a surprising amount of things other than pepper seeds in it. I saw what I believe to be peanuts, juniper berries, bay leaves chopped finely but still able to choke a person, and a lot of other solid matter. It seems to all be plant-based so it’s OK.  Actually the wings turned out to be milder than I thought and I will have to add more the next time. It may have told me that but I don’t know. Perhaps the directions said, “This tastes hotter raw than cooked so if using in a cooked dish add more to kick up the heat.” I think the woman pictured looks rather austere but for all I know she could be China’s Aunt Jemima!

I love this gum. Yes, it’s made by Wrigley’s but that’s all I know. I first had this gum on our looksie trip in April and I loved it. When we moved here I was so glad to find it. I always thought it tasted like honeysuckle, oh yes it’s a flower flavor which I know sounds gross but it isn’t. When I finally saw the package I knew it wasn’t honeysuckle. I asked Ben what the flower was (see the picture on the package?) and of course he didn’t know the English word. All he could tell me was that it’s a flower that helps with digestion. About 2 weeks later we were driving somewhere and he got all excited and showed me the flowers growing in a park. They are chrysanthemums. I need to interject that I spelled that word without looking it up and it was correct! Now I know that I’m eating chrysanthemum gum.I highly recommend it. I had to have my driver show me the actual flower growing along side of the road though to learn that.  I do think that it whitens my teeth as I chew. There is a very sparkly white tooth in the top left hand corner. It’s just part of the fun.

Of course we all know what these are but I thought you’d be interested to see the package. My kids were happy to know that I was able to buy these here because they are my weakness.I do believe that the Chinese characters are telling me that they’re peanut.  The funny thing is that  this container, along with another, has been in my cupboard for more than a month, UNOPENED. Now I’m really hungry for them though.

If you guessed Chips Ahoy! you guessed right. So you may not have needed to guess at that one, it’s rather obvious. But what if they’re made with some ingredient  that I’m not familiar with. It’s possible. Rehydrated fish bladder could be used as a preservative, I don’t know. Not sure I want to either so perhaps ignorance is bliss. Sidenote: these were in a welcome basket given to us by the apartment complex Aug. 1. I think I should just throw them away because I would never eat these anyway. If I’m going to have chocolate chip cookies, I’ll make them myself and eat most of them myself as well.

Not much imagination was needed to figure out that this is Coffee-Mate. Actually it might be Cremora but that’s not important. What is important is that I may be missing some very important direction underneath the photo that will make me melt against husband in the morning and look dreamy when using Coffee-Mate. By the way, I know that they’re drinking coffee because you NEVER, EVER, EVER put milk in Chinese tea. I believe that I may have to take this to my Mandarin lesson next week because I sure as heck do not look like that woman in the morning when I drink my coffee. I don’t even look like her after I’ve had 2 cups. I only look like that after Anders has brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers for my birthday or presents me with tickets to Bali 😉

I bought this yogurt because I knew it was strawberry. When it comes to yogurt all I know is the flavor. A strawberry is a strawberry no matter where you live in the world. There is a sales girl at one of the stores where I go and every time I approach the yogurt pile she pulls out 2 different kinds. They are both made by the same manufacturer and they are always the same flavor but she’s trying her darndest to tell me something about the difference. I have no clue and even afer I tell her in Mandarin that I don’t understand she keeps talking. I think she must get paid by the word! I have no idea if it’s full-fat, low-fat, or non-fat yogurt. I will say that it’s very good so I’m guessing it’s full-fat. I think one of my goals before I leave is to figure out what the cute little sales girl is trying so hard to tell me.

I love dim sum. I finally took the plunge and bought frozen dim sum after I saw a number of Chinese buying it. If it’s good enough for them then it will certainly do for me. I was lost. I love the steamed buns and that’s what I bought. I just have no idea what the filling is or how to prepare them. I closed my eyes and this happens to be what I came up with.

And last but by no means least, there is  Mr. Right. Look closely because the only English on this package of almonds is announcing to all the world that this is what Mr. Right looks like. I always thought he looked like Anders. (Aaaawww) I never knew he wore a pimp hat and had one hand freakishly larger than the other. Frankly, I think he looks like a creeper!

I apologize for any errors in this post. I’m late getting ready for the Tailor Party and I have to get this posted. Sorry, I’ll time manage myself better in the future 🙂


About vikarenously

I am an ex-pat living in Guangzhou, China. I am married to the man of my dreams who has indulged my love of travel by working hard enough to snag two international assignments. Oh yes, I also have two amazing children who accompanied us on our first one to Switzerland and are now mature and responsible adults which makes it so easy for us to experience this adventure as empty-nesters. Experience it vicariously with Karen.

4 responses »

  1. I must say, this is the stuff I love to hear about! Did you notice your yogurt says “Classy-Kiss”? I believe the sales girl is trying to explain to you one yogurt is more tart than the other, thereby when you take a spoonful of the one you have purchased, you pucker up, allowing your lips to give a “Classy-Kiss”!
    Let me get this straight….. going grocery shopping is similar to the street markets you have talked about, like the sporting equipment and the white dinnerware “stores”? You have sales people trying to get you to buy the different kinds of food in the grocery store also? Aren’t there just aisles, and you wander up and down each one looking for what you need? Do they haggle with you on the prices on each item there too? Speaking of food- when are you going to McDonald’s for me?! Maybe you should find out what kind of meat is in the quarter pounder first…..(I’m still stuck on the dog story). 😦

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