12.4.15

Shopping trip

I'm going to the store today.  Come shopping with me!  We're going to Tesco.  It's the British version of a Walmart.  I have a love/hate relationship with this store, but it's a one-stop-shop, has really good air conditioning, and Ellis loves riding in the shopping cart.  That's why I decided to come here.  It's normally quite crowded, but I happened to go during the Muslim friday prayers and it was virtually empty.

Picture from the internet!
First stop: the produce section.  I prefer getting my fruits and veggies at the local market, but it's difficult to go there with Ellis by myself, so I picked up a few things here.


It starts off pretty normal until you stumble upon the large bag-your-own-dried-fish section.  I try to give this section a wide berth.    It stinks.  


One thing about grocery stores here that I can never seem to get used to is that you have to have your produce weighed at the produce counter.  About half the time I forget to weigh something and I either have to go back to have it weighed, or more likely, I give up and leave it at the check-out counter.  The bakery section is the same way, and I abandoned a couple of doughnuts recently.  Poor things.

The weigh-in counter in the produce section

Continue holding your nose because right after the stinky fish section is the raw and unpackaged meat, at the back.

This is one aspect of Asia that still continues to bother me.  I prefer my raw meat to be contained.  It makes me shudder to see people handling raw meat with their bare hands and I don't want to think about everything else in the store they're going to touch after.  Antibacterial wipes are always on hand.

But when in Rome, do as the Romans do.  They have the best salmon around so we buy it here. Chicken, beef and pork we buy elsewhere.  The meats also have their own little counters for weighing and pricing.

At least it's on ice.

Grocery stores are a great cultural experience.  It teaches you about what the locals eat.  In the U.S., for example, think about the potato chip aisle or the square footage designated for dozens of different kinds of milk.   In Malaysia we have whole aisles of rice and whole aisles of oil.  

Rice rice rice

You can even bag your own.
At the very edge of the store you have the "tidak halal" section.  Halal is the Muslim version of Kosher.  Tidak halal means "not halal" which means that the Muslims cannot eat it.  In there you have your pork products and alcoholic beverages.


Next stop, baby food.  I always make a stop here hoping they will improve their selection, but I'm always disappointed.  Despite all the tasty baby food I've made from scratch, I inevitably have to mix in some processed rice cereal just to get him to eat it.  He loves that stuff.


Here's a fun fact: grocery stores are almost always in the basements of malls.  Tesco is an exception, but it built a mall around itself.  The grocery store is on the third floor and the first two floors are stores, restaurants, and a food court.  It's not exactly a quick pop-in-pop-out kind of store.  Sometimes I miss that about Safeway.

They do have fun shopping cart escalators.  Look, no hands!  
Tesco has a lot of other things like clothing, auto parts, electronics, etc., but those weren't on the list for the day.  Sometime I'll take you to the market with me!  

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