In case you’re wondering how much things cost here in China, here are the fruits of a recent shopping trip on which I spent almost 150 RMB, most of it on 4 of the 6 items I purchased.
In rounded-off numbers, the prices were
Olive oil (500ml): 65
Chocolate (4.2oz): 20
Cat food (3.3 lb): 35
Kitty litter (22 lb): 25
Sugar (2 cups): 3
Carrots (4): 1
7 RMB is about one dollar, but given a Chinese salary (well, a foreigner-in-China salary), I divide by two instead of seven to try to imagine how much I’m paying for things in dollars. So, a $33 bottle of olive oil (yikes!), and a $1.5 bag of sugar (much more reasonable, though technically still higher than a US store, I’ll bet).
The chocolate (for brownies) is a baking-only sort of purchase. Usually I’d get the much smaller bar that’s only about 7 RMB, or none at all. The olive oil is a once-a-year purchase, but very important to my cooking. The cat food and kitty litter have become once-a-week purchases, much to my dismay in hauling them home to the 4th floor! And in hauling their end product back out. Once I’m back to just two cats, the rate of consumption will lower.
If today’s the first day of China’s no-thin-plastic bags, I couldn’t tell on my trip to the fruit market this morning. Of course, what else are the fruit vendors going to put the fruit in for it to be quickly weighed and carried home? But I took my own bag and managed to get only one bag, which I re-used to weigh other fruits before dumping them in the sack and then to hold the peaches and plums above the heavier fruits. Then when I bought lettuce on the way home I had to get one more, because the stem was terribly muddy. Well, so far it’s just an experiment, and I’m content with my first go (and trying not to be self-righteous about it). I wonder what it will be like in the stores?
In case you’re wondering how prices compare, I spent just a little over 10 RMB total, including the 3 RMB newspaper in the background that I bought for the picture on the cover. The US has 9-11. Now China has 5-12.
On yet another subject, here are a couple pictures of meal Mikaela and I prepared last night. The two of us, and her father, really enjoyed it! Baked chicken (marinated in soy sauce, garlic, and Italian herbs), mashed potatoes, gravy (from a packet), salad, and from-scratch brownies.