Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Up and Down and In and Out

That is how my Tuesday went. On Tuesdays, after our coffee outing, I usually head downtown to Carrefour to pick up more baguettes (the best and least expensive around - leave it to a French company) and maybe a few other things for the week. This particular day I was on a mission to pick up some Frosted Flakes - known as Frosties here. The kids eat it everyday for breakfast (and sometimes dinner). There were about six boxes or so on the shelf when I was shopping on Friday. I thought we had enough... So, of course, by Tuesday, the shelf was empty. I'm suspecting the two Western people I saw entering as I was leaving Friday, snagged the remaining loot :). I buy my few items, board the bus, and return home.

Tuesdays or Monday afternoons are the days I have a long enough block of time to get to a store that requires taking a bus. My other options are the Metro store (long bus ride) or Wal-Mart (which I despise). I decide on Metro because I can pick up the tea we like (Jasmine in teabags - the Chinese prefer their tea loose) and I wanted to see if they carry graham crackers. So, down the four flights of stairs, walk to the road that I need to catch bus 96, walk to Metro from exiting the bus and enter Metro. No Frosties!! Apparently, the weekend crowd bought all and the restocking hadn't yet taken place. But, I scored a coup - they have graham crackers! I head back once again. Walk to the bus stop, etc.

Now this leaves the dreaded Wal-Mart option. But, they usually have the coveted Frosties in-stock. After a brief rest (it's now almost 4 pm), I head out. Down the stairs, walk to the road to bus 98 etc. I get to the store and climb four more flights of stairs to enter (another reason why I don't like that place) and claw my way to the cereal aisle. That store is always jam-packed. Frosties! Yes! I pick up four boxes (they're little, like everything else in China). On the obnoxious P.A. system, Christmas songs in Chinese are blaring away. So there I am, in line at Wal-Mart (shudder) with my boxes of Frosties, humming along to a Chinese version of "Rudolph", while waiting for the guy in front of me to pay for his two huge bags of seaweed and hunks of shrink-wrapped "mystery meat?"!

It's now shortly past five. I decide to walk the under two miles home because the busses are very crowded with the downtown folks returning. I didn't want to hassle with the crowds while carrying bags. The sidewalks are pretty clear at this time because schools are not dismissed until 5:30 or later. Then, it's teeming with kids from Kindergarten to high school. I return home a bit after six, wiped out. The kids are home from school, ready to eat dinner. Good thing I have some Frosties...

No comments: