The durian, called “King of the Fruits” in southeast Asia, is a very “unique” fruit! It is large, like the jackfruit I wrote about on April 16, but, it has spikes, and most notably…it has a very distinct, strong smell, which most people consider BAD! So bad, that in many places it is banned from public transportation and hotels (the sign in the picture was posted in a Singapore metro station)! Personally, I think the taste is kind of good, … if you can get past the smell, and sometimes it leaves a weird after taste. I learned the hard way that when you buy it, you need to eat it right away….. otherwise your refrigerator or house will smell for days! Because of the large size, supermarkets will often open one and sell it packaged in smaller amounts. Inside of the segments, it has a very creamy texture, with large seeds, which are supposed to be edible if cooked, although I haven’t tried that. You can find all kinds of durian flavored foods here, that can be a whole separate post someday! It is native to southeast Asia, and there are nine edible species. Here’s a fun video of some people tasting durian for the first time :-)  : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og5e6wLIU18 

Life in China: A Picture A Day, March 11, 2016

The bigger supermarket I go to about once a week in the town next to us is a part of a chain from Taiwan called RT Mart, or Da Run Fa 大潤發. Leah was with me today, so I asked her to help me get a member card. I thought the list of “Free Services” would be interesting to share. It is fairly typical for a large Chinese supermarket. I’ll explain the items that my American friends may not understand J

2. Free Shopping Shuttle Buses – Buses have routes stopping at the local residential areas, unfortunately, the buses don’t come to where we are now.

3. A large amount of people come by bus, scooter, bicycle or walking, so they may have other items from shopping. Large supermarkets seem to always offer free lockers and you usually have to store your things in them (I assume partially to reduce the chance of shoplifting). Unless you are a foreigner, then I guess because of the communication issue, they usually let you go!

4. Periodic DM is a text message.

6. Free Leasing of shopping basket, shopping bag, umbrella and raincoat. – Leah saw at our local Spar store that you can pay 20rmb deposit to lease an umbrella for 3 days, so I’m sure the offer here is similar. If you need a plastic bag in a supermarket in China, you must buy it.

7. Free straw, scoop and toilet paper – straw and spoon (scoop) for foods you will drink and eat right away. Free toilet paper (most public restrooms in China do not supply this, but stores often do).

9. Free packing for bowels??? (this is bowls/dishes) and bottled wine, most likely representative of breakable items.

10. Free paging (if you lose someone in the store), money change (getting change if you need it) and gift wrapping.

Not a bad list of free services!

Life in China: A Picture A Day, March 9, 2016

These are the "Fire Hydrant" signs in our building :-) There is one just outside our apartment door and another in the lobby that I pass every time I go out. I always picture Scooby Doo saying “Rire Hydrant”! It’s my guaranteed daily smile :-) I’m sure that the Chinese factory workers who make these signs don’t know any English, so, just as we think Chinese is so hard…English is just as difficult to them. As we might confuse two similar Chinese characters, I guess “F” and “R” are confusing to them!

Chinglish Bird Sign

Life in China: A Picture a Day 2016, Feb 14 - Today we went for a 7.5 mile ride by the lake! Farther than we have gone before, so we saw some new areas. China has been cracking down on people hunting songbirds, so I was glad to see this sign posted, and it gave us a good chuckle too :-) someone made a good effort…and we did get the point! Seeing how in 2.5 hrs, we only saw one other foreigner, and he was with a Chinese girl, I guess we should be thankful they even have it in English!