Ah, yes. Welcome to Wu-Mart!
The Wu-Mart in Beijing was located on the corner of the streets. We first saw it when we made our middle of the night McDonald's run. I needed hairspray and Daniel wanted to check out the local shopping so we decided to head out one night after another several hour long, jet-lagged nap.
The buggies were outside the entrance, which seemed unorganized to say the least. The entrance didn't have doors but rather had the long plastic strips to help keep in the heat and the cold out. This should have been my second clue that I wasn't entering an American-style supermarket. (The first clue being I was in China.) There were several floors to this supermarket and honestly I don't really remember much about the entrance once inside. I knew that I needed hairspray so we found the hygiene area. Have you ever been shopping in an Asian store where none of the words are even recognizable? In some non-English countries, one might be able to decipher the meaning of a few words, but in an Asian country it is very hard if one isn't familiar with their characters.
So I stood there in front of the shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, hair gel, lotion, and body wash aisle examining each bottle and how the product would go from inside to out of the bottle. I was grasping for any clue while searching for hairspray. I found a bottle with a pump on it and asked Daniel for his advice. Did he think it was hairspray? Is there a chance it could be hair gel with a pump instead? Or could it be something completely different? We agreed it likely was hairspray and I would ask Flora, our guide, the next day to make sure I wasn't misusing this what I believed to be hairspray product.
So we decided to explore. We went up the escalator and found where all the food was located. And there were bins of fresh produce as far as the eye could see. Next to the produce were other bin-type containers holding all of the fresh meats. Now these meats would NOT pass the American food laws because they were out like the produce. Not wrapped in plastic and some not even in coolers. Most of the meat you could tell which animal it came from since it wasn't cut into smaller sections or grounded up. Nope. We saw it all there. Pigs, octopus, rats, rabbits, cow, and other mystery meat that we could only imagine it was.
It was a very different grocery shopping experience compared to here in America. It was almost like a market type store, but it was inside and it felt very dark despite the overhead lights. I wish we would have GoProed our experience. Maybe next time.
|Here is my Chinese hairspray from the Wu-Mart. I am still using it a year later! You can see my delimma when looking at the bottle and trying to figure out exactly what it was. My guess paid off!|