Thursday, September 29, 2011

大润发 - RT Mart - crazy shopping time

大润发 or Darunfa, is the Chinese version of Wal-Mart. It is a massive shopping complex with home things, clothes, appliances and all manner of groceries. It's also affordable (read: really really cheap) and most importantly, is a hilarious excursion for a free Sunday in Jinan. 

Going on a Sunday ensures that the most people possible are cramming onto those escalators, and that the whole building is full of screaming children and is generally a serious fire hazard. It's worth going for the pure spectacle, and it brings you to a great plateau of understanding of the contemporary Jinan family. 

It's also hilarious to see not only what they sell, but how they sell it...
To begin with, a nice little slice of Engrish for you. Better not park your car too much like fruit or vegetables.

A couple of examples of how many people are flowing through this massive complex. And the 'sales' banners that seem to yell at you. So much red. Also, so much sauce.

And now my favourtie: this is how you buy rice from darunfa. It reminds me of a sandpit - and throws the "health and saftey" precautions of developed countries to the wind! I saw kids mashing their hands through it...  I don't wanna know what they find in there by the end of the day.

This next stuff is called Rousong. Simply put, it is dried and flossed meat. The Chinese version of jerkey. You can read an explanation of it in this post, as well as a horror (read: amusing) story of my history with this particular peculiar snack.

This takes grocery shopping to a whole new level. They have people making you fresh meals, the same as the street food stall holders do. People line up and wait, and place their orders, and then take away their lunch. There is also an incredibly dumpling selection, a massive bakery area, and a whole section for fresh seafood (so fresh that it's still alive in tanks) and a butchers.

Oh, and an extensive selection of pickled delicacies...

All in all, I always have a fun time at Darunfa. Needless to say, I'm always the only westerner there. I can spend at least twenty minutes just browsing the wall of instant noodles, let alone the sauce and flavour aisles. It is so inspirational and I get the most delightful cooking ideas! It's also overwhelmingly visually stimulating and quickly makes you tired. Unsurprisingly, it is always loud and people push you around here like they do in the rest of China, except in Darunfa they have trollies. 

I cant tell you for sure, though, that the bakery section alone makes up for all of Darunfa's discomforts.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes, selling rice like that is so unhygienic. Good thing you boil them first before eating them.

    Fickle Cattle


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