“Wet Market” Day, 8/22/13

I’ve decided today is the day I’m going to experience a “wet” market.  It’s the term everyone uses to describe the local outdoor market where any manner of fruits, vegetables, and even some meats are for sale.  This is where all the locals do their food shopping.  Prior to now, I’ve done all our shopping in the indoor groceries that are “foreign” friendly (have products recognizable by someone like me).

I walk past the Capital Mall, the kind of shopping I know, and cross the street to the “wet market”.  It’s row and rows of tables and stalls, covered with awnings.  There is lots of congestion throughout, tons of people.  I cruise the aisles, checking out the variety of items available and how the system works.  When I think I’ve got it figured out, I start my buying.  There are so many choices and so many vendors for every product.  I end up buying peaches, bananas, green beans (I think), corn, and cashews (I couldn’t resist).  I paid about $12 for all of it.  I roll it all home in my “mini Canton cart” for just this occasion.

The nearby wet market The local wet market

Fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere

Fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere

Now I have to buy something to cut it up with, cook it, and store it.  I don’t have any large bowls, large knives, or pots/pans for prepping/cooking the food.  I head out to Metro for the needed items.  I’m shopping cooking utensils, stainless bowls, and kitchen knives.  I’ve found most of what I need, and as I leave the housewares dept., one of the employees stops me and pulls the box of knives out of my cart.  After she realizes I have no clue what she’s saying, she pulls out her Chinese ID, indicating (I think), that I’ll need to be approved (or maybe not approved) before I can purchase the knives.  I show her my passport card. She takes it and disappears for 10 minutes.  When she returns, and after much more gesturing, she copies my passport card, and sends me off to do more shopping (without the knives).  After getting our weekly allotment of diet coke, I stop by the “knives” area.  She hands me the package of knives, and I’m escorted to the check-out area, where, after signing several documents, I pay and head out with everything, including the knives.

Back home, I haul all my “toys” to the apartment (I’ve overloaded myself again).  One of the gate guards has to help me get to the apartment elevator with everything.  I unpack, eat some lunch and begin my recovery (nap).  Lillie, our ayi, arrives around 2:00 and starts cleaning.  She washes all the new knives, pans, and bowls.  When she moves out of the kitchen, I move in, and start prepping the corn and beans from my “wet market” trip.  I’m determined to have fresh vegetables, tonight!  I get a few Chinese food prep tips, and it’s all coming together.

Tonight was “Meet the Teacher Night” at BISS.  Judy meets many parents, and has a new experience.  Because of the nature of the MYP IB curriculum, her 7th grade class is more classroom than music.  Not only is she welcoming parents into her music classroom on the 2nd floor, she also has to scurry upstairs to the 4th floor, and make a presentation to the 7th grade parents.  She has to improvise, not anticipating the “classroom” part of the evening.  When she gets back downstairs, another of her “favorite” surprises awaits her.  While she was upstairs, some wandering students visited her room and played on many of the instruments.  Of course, they didn’t put them back properly, and “THEY’RE ALL OUT OF PLACE”!!!  This would be punishable by death if Judy could administer justice.

When she gets home, everything is spic and span, and there are green beans cooking in a pot on the stove.  I’ve already cooked the corn and eaten most of it.  While Judy eats, we watch a little CNN, and talk about my “wet market” and Metro experiences.  The food is great (yes, a little self-congratulatory), and Beijing is becoming more comfortable.

1 thought on ““Wet Market” Day, 8/22/13

  1. Gordon & Judy,
    We are absolutely loving the posts!!!! Got such a kick out of the A/C guy, which is something Bill has decided on the spot that he definitely cannot start a new career in Beijing as an AC technician!!!!! Sounds like you’ve got burgers and Mexican wrapped up in the same place with the Hatch green chilies!!!! Need to locate some enchiladas and I won’t feel too sorry for you anymore! Ha!!!
    Be careful in the “wet markets”!! : ). What an adventure!!!! We are loving being along for the ride!!!!! Thanks so much for your posts!!!! You should be able to publish these when you get back!!!!!
    Hugs from Texas!!!!!!
    Bill and Margaret

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.