At the moment it’s Chinese New Year, coming towards the end of it in fact. Ninety five percent of the shops are shut, except a big shopping centre called Carrefour. It sells everything from engine parts to apples and milk.
I went there to find some interesting things you wouldn’t normally see in your regular supermarket at home. Some are weird, others are really weird.
1. Beds and mattresses
Ok I realise this one might not be super weird, but generally when I go to get some juice and bananas I don’t typically shop for luxury mattresses. There are walls of fold out mattresses, from bamboo to foam.
2. Fridges and freezers
I guess in Australia it’s not common to buy fruit and freezers in the same place. But at Carrefour there is literally everything you need under one roof.
3. Countless bags of tiny fish
I’ve been around a lot of market stalls on the street, and on these stalls anything goes. I’ve seen quite disturbing things from a pigs head sitting on the bench, to a skinned dog hanging up. In the supermarket I didn’t expect such extreme weird things, but packets of tiny fish are still weird.
4. Skewered squid
You can put kebabs on the BBQ, or vegetables skewered to a piece of thin wood on a BBQ. Why not up the ante and whack a whole squid on there too? Carrefour has plenty to choose from.
As I turned the corner I noticed a whole bunch of scooters lined up for sale. This I definitely didn’t expect to see in a supermarket. I guess it gives you more options than just a bike dealership. People must buy them if they stock them.
Popcorn isn’t too crazy right? But how often do you see a popcorn stand nestled in amongst the fruit and veg?
7. A box of clams
Perhaps these are necessary for the towns further inland. But I’ve never seen a box of clams this close to the coast before.
Again these aren’t the strangest things to buy, but how many grocery stores have a small plant section next to walls of spirits and wine? I’ve bought a couple of plants from here. A succulent and a cactus.
9. Live shellfish
I think it’s rare to see live seafood in the west, especially in the supermarket. People tend not to buy food if they still see it when it’s alive, before they eat it. But fresh seafood is the best if you want that, so you can grab yourself a scoop of shellfish.
10. Black chicken
It’s a whole chicken and it’s black. I have no idea how or why, but I’m guessing it’s some kind of marinade. I did check and there wasn’t any English writing so I’m still unsure. But if you want a whole, black chicken during Chinese New Year, then Carrefour is your place.
I hope you enjoyed reading about these strange and unusual things. As Chinese New Year is ending and I think I’m getting sick, I might try some traditional Chinese medicine (plant based).
Sometimes new foods and new places require you to step out of your comfort zone. This is often challenging, but I’ve written a lot of posts about how you can do this. Please take a look at my self development page to see how you can help yourself with some of life’s difficult challenges.