Everything in China has the potential to be a contact sport: getting onto a bus, bus rides, walking down a busy sidewalk, etc. Today grocery shopping was added to my list.
Today is my day off this week. We needed toilet paper. I had to go to the store. Imagine the mall on the day after Thanksgiving, or imagine Disney World on a day when the entrance tickets are selling for half-price. That’s what it was like at the R-T Mart this afternoon. I hated every minute of it.
I knew it was going to be bad when a maybe 75-80 year-old man pushed me aside, as he was behind me, just to grab a grocery cart. Mind you, there were many available grocery carts. I’m not so sure about his rush. Maybe he spotted a set of great, oiled wheels that he knew would be perfect for maneuvering around the crazy crowd.
The chaos continued. People continued to run into me. There was an old lady who stopped in front of me so I stopped as well. Too bad the lady behind me didn’t feel like slowing down, she rammed her cart into my behind to get me to move. I just turned and looked at her and tried to give her my teacher eyes I give to my first graders. No luck. She just pushed herself around me and the old lady both, though the old lady didn’t seem to be as annoyed as I was. I was blocked from aisles that I wanted to go down, and some worker got pushed into me and dropped a couple of her things into my hand-held basket. She got her things and we both squeezed through the aisle in opposite directions.
I won’t even go into standing in line to check out. Just know that Chinese people aren’t always as sweet and quiet as they seem in pictures.
At least I have my toilet paper. I went ahead and bought a value pack.