Desperate times call for desperate measures. Not being able to find liquid soap, a collander (this a necessity, we eat a lot of pasta), and scissors for the past two weeks drove me to go in search of Walmart. There are three in Shanghai and one isn't too far away (distance is relative in a city of 16 million - anything under 30 minues is considered close). And, so I went.
We drove to an area that I hadn't been to before, and as I looked at all the buildings, I swore I saw a Target. There was a building with the telltale red circle and dot, but alas, it was only a mirage, not a Target.
My first problem is that I really had to go to the bathroom as soon as I got there, but I couldn't find a restroom. I decided to embark upon the American commercial mecca with yellow eyes anyway. It was three levels and the first level I found some of the normal things that are at the other grocery we've been to, plus some live turtles (not for pets) and frozen eels. I passed on those.
I was lucky to find some of my once-elusive items, but not others. Guess who's suitcase will be filled with lots of food imports when I come back from the States in January? Pickle relish, balsamic vinegar and Triscuits for sure!
I noticed a lot of stares, which I don't think was a result of me walking around with my knees locked together, rather, it was because I was the only Westerner in the store. I could just imagine what the Chinese shoppers must be thinking, "Hmmm...she just can't get enough of capitalism."
I've been to some of the open markets, and I'm just not brave enough to try some of that food yet. Indistinguishable meat laying out without refrigeration and flies buzzing around doesn't really appeal to me.
After visiting all three levels, and getting as much I could without bursting, I checked out and made a bee-line to the W.C., only to find that there were no toilets, and I had to go in a glorified hole in the ground. Having seen those since Japan circa 1993. Oh well, when you gotta go...
Sorry for all the potty talk.