It is easy to spot a place to go shopping in our town. The places are big and often several stores are combined surrounded by large parking lots. It isn’t always easy to get to these places on foot. In most cases a car is required which explains the need for the large parking lots. We would like to live within walking distance of grocery shopping and restaurants but finding those places in a suburb is challenging.
The last time we were here there was only one place I felt comfortable going to for groceries. It is a very large grocery store in an even larger mall. It is within walking distance, so it wasn’t unusual to go shopping every day for the needs for the day.
Yesterday we needed some tomato sauce for a dish Grandma was going to make. The place that we order most of our groceries from doesn’t carry it, so it isn’t possible to get it delivered. Fortunately, there are several shopping options nearby.
The first thing you must get used to is that stores don’t look like stores. Often, they occupy a single space in the lower floor of a much larger building. The first store we went to probably wasn’t much bigger than 20 x 40 feet. It is an import store, so there are items from all over the world and specifically items that would appeal to foreigners. We found our tomato sauce and as a bonus found some brown sugar that looked much more like the kind we get back home. What we didn’t find was white sugar.
This took us to the second store. The store front looked much like the previous store with a big “Welcome” sign over the entrance. There was a fancy bakery on the left and an optometrist on the right as we entered. The store was below. We took the escalator down and found shopping carts and a large supermarket. It was a little challenging finding the white sugar as it was in the bulk area. When you guy something in bulk you place it in a plastic bag and then take it to an attendant to be weighed and priced. The store is a bit of a maze so it took a little while to find our way to the checkout area.
Earlier in our stay while cleaning my glasses one of the lenses fell out. I sort of got it back in the frames, but it wasn’t right. As we walked by the optometrist I wondered if the glasses could be repaired there. My granddaughter asked in Chinese and I handed my glasses to the optometrist. She quickly took the glasses apart and put them back together the right way. We weren’t sure how much the service would cost and were grateful when the optometrist said there was no charge.
All these things were within a block of our apartment. I’m sure we won’t begin to explore all the stores and services available just on our block before it is time to return home. I really like the city and not having to get in a car every time I need something.