What's for tea in HK?
8 October 09
We’ve been exploring the local market centre to find out where the locals shop. Previously, Renee and Craig have been frequenting the well-stocked local supermarkets which — although not that expensive — probably don’t provide the best prices on local produce.
Today (after exploring the local library), we wandered through Tai Po Central Market, which is within easy walking distance of Keegan’s school. The market was a very clean, well organised market across three stories. The bottom floor was meat, the second floor was clothes and fresh produce, and a food court was located on the top floor.
If I hadn’t lived in West Africa, the baskets of live prawns or snails may have grossed me out if the smells didn’t drive me out of the market in the first place. However, in contrast to African markets, we didn’t have to contend with slimy mud between our toes, persistent flies, snotty toddlers crawling between wooden tables or aggresive hawkers (“veddy good price for you!”). Rather, the market had a clean, tiled floor, with uniformly-sized stalls clearly marked and organised according to their kind.
In the produce section, we spent a lot of time trying to decipher which Chinese characters meant “item”, “dollar”, “pound”, “bag”, “kilo” or “pile” as fruit and vegies are sold in different quantities, and it often wasn’t clear which number meant which value. Most vendors had basic English and could help us with some explanations.
For all the things that we forgot to buy at the market, there’s always the supermarket. The Harveys are blessed to have a small supermarket very close to their apartment. It’s open until 10pm and easily walkable, although you have to climb 133 stairs across 12 flights of stairs. Thankfully, after you’re laden down with shopping, the trip back home is mostly downhill.
I find it odd that a supermarket is located down two flights of stairs. Here’s a brief introduction to Renee’s local supermarket: