Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Plastic Bags

Countryside seen on last night's bike ride. Riding on a bike with gears is like riding a motorcycle compared to riding my Chinese gearless bike. I actually could bike up a hill rather than walk it up. I could ride super fast and feel the power of movement with the wind blowing through my hair. It was fantastic. It definitely motivates me to buy a GIANT when I return to China.

I went to the supermarket for the first time since coming back and it was HUGE, empty of people, full of too many choices and had a tiny produce section full of super expensive fruits and vegetables. The cheapest fruit was Georgian peaches for $0.99 (6 RMB) a pound. I think if I was back for good, I would have to adjust to the expensive fruits and veggies and would have a really hard time spending money on them.

I bought some instant pudding boxes yesterday as a present for my Chinese tutor who ate some at C's women's club and really really liked them.

As we were leaving the store, mom asked, "Where's your plastic bag?"

Oh... Her question made me realize that I was doing what I do in China. When I don't have enough to fill a plastic bag, I always answer the supermarket worker, "No bag," and I just carry it out.

Plastic bags in China cost money.
Plastic bags in America are free.

The baggers will put one thing in one bag and the next thing you know an American's shopping cart is full of plastic bags with 1-2 items in each. In my Chinese city because very few people have cars, what you buy you have to be able to carry. Everything goes into one bag and on a rare occasion if you have a friend with you, everything might go into two bags, one handle for each person, one bag's weight being distributed over two people's hands. The groceries are then walked home. Because plastic bags cost money, many people bring their own cloth bags.

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