Living in China is easy – or so says the tag line of my new favourite Web site, 5JShop.com.
The site offers home delivery of groceries in and around the Jinji Lake/SIP area of Suzhou. Yeah, we just click, click, click and hit send and magically a man appears the next day with our groceries. Blows my fucking mind.
Now, I’ve heard of similar services back home, but have had little cause to use them. Shopping in Canada is about as stressful as a yoga class. You show up, listen to a bit of Musak, casually consider your health for 45 minutes and then drive home.
A trip to the supermarket in China is … like my fat ass doing yoga. Uncomfortable, painful, awkward, and filled with the concern that I may end up seriously maiming others around me.
I’ve talked about my love/hate of Chinese supermarkets previously, and so wont rehash it all here. Needless to say, I avoid shopping as much as possible.
As Maggie largely handles all the shopping (in part because of our new cooking arrangement), and for a long time – like most things “China” – it didn’t get to her.
However, it is impossible not to see a transition in my wife from the somewhat sheltered person I met in Jinzhou to the woman she is today. Sociologists would have a field day with her. She’s a blossoming bougeois bouquet and, for better or worse, there ain’t no going back.
As such, she (like me) despises trips to the supermarket now, and routinely returns from Saturday afternoon shopping saying, “it’s like a damn war!”
Enter 5jshop.com – the bilingual, QQ-connected solution to all our problems (of a shopanistic nature).
We were a bit apprehensive about the service when it was suggested to us by our great new friends (and new Suzhou bloggers) Ric and Gin – how could we not be? Reasonably priced groceries, fresh from the market to your door, and free delivery? Surely it’s too good to be true.
Well, we must be cashing in karma chips, because our delivery yesterday sealed it. No rotten or wilted week-old celery, no funky smelling mystery meats. We got fresh, clean veg; still-frozen (and sealed) chicken breast; ripe fruit; high-quality pork… delivered at our door. And, factoring in the added costs of taxis and impulse buying, the whole deal is going to end up saving us money.
Maggie might need a bit of work with the ordering system though, as we looked a bit silly ordering one, solitary banana.