Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Visit to the Jin Qiao Market

Sunday afternoon, we made our way to the Jin Qiao (pronounced Jin Chow) market, which is about 2 miles from our apartment, and Jim introduced me to the bus system. As mentioned in an earlier post, buses are one of the cheapest ways to get around - one way costs 2 yuan, which is about $0.29. Since it is the most economical form of mass transit, it usually means that there is standing room only. But on Sunday afternoon we were actually able to grab a seat on the way home.

The market place is very similar to that of Thumb Plaza. It has a Carrefour and several restaurants. It also has a store called Pines which specializes in stocking western goods with astronomical mark ups. For example, Pines had the McCormick seasoning packets (taco seasoning, meatloaf seasoning, gravy mix, etc.) for around $2.50 each. Now don't be fooled, these are the same 1-1.5 oz. packets that you find in the spice section of any grocery store in the states.

They also had a wide array of imported beers. That said, I haven't seen any Shiner on the shelves yet. :(

Jim says the other thing about Pines is that they don't consistently restock the shelves with the same items. So if you love {insert hard-to-find item name here, i.e. Kraft Mac & Cheese}, and you see it there one day, you better buy it then.

We walked out of Pines with saran wrap and fresh-cut green beans. Apparently, French-cut green beans are more common here and Jim knows I prefer the fresh-cut, so we indulged on the last 2 cans they had in stock. :)

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