Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Adventures at Walmart

After the coffeemaker in the apartment spewed coffee all over the countertop, I realized we desperately needed a new coffeemaker. So today Joanna and I ventured out to find a Walmart. Beijing has at least six of them, but we found the closest one and took the subway there, Joanna coaching me on buying a ticket, figuring out the various lines, and navigating the system.

We actually found the Walmart surprisingly easily (it's always a surprise when anything is relatively easy in this country), and entered just at lunchtime. We were greeted by a stand inside the store selling steamed buns and potstickers, and I was suddenly ravenous. I bought a bag of delicious potstickers and Joanna had a bun and we devoured them near the checkout lines. "China Walmart 1; U.S. Walmart 0," Joanna proclaimed.

We walked past rows of rice cookers, juicers, water heaters and other oddities until we found a tiny section devoted to drip coffee makers. We found a Eupa brand (nope, never heard of it) that looked promising (that'll be tomorrow's adventure), and wandered through the store. Joanna had to go tutor, so she left me to my own devices.

I picked up a packet of what looked like napkins, with a cute panda face on the cover, and a bottle of Dove something -- either body wash or lotion. I also found a small packet of Oreos for Bob, some dishtowels and what seem to be hand towels or washcloths.

Then I tried to take the subway home by myself. The only problem was that the machines in the station wouldn't take my 5 yuan note, and didn't take bigger amounts. I eventually gave up and grabbed a cab on the street. I handed him my piece of paper saying "Seasons Park" in English and in Chinese, and got back to the apartment.

I opened the "napkins" only to discover they were tissues. And I'm still not sure if the Dove thing is lotion or soap. I'll take it in the shower tomorrow and see if it lathers up. But these are minor glitches in what I'm going to consider a successful outing overall.

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