I have the advantage of being within a short walk to the very busy, ever-so-handy Wal-Mart (or Wo Mar, as it is called here). It is like you would expect, with the same logo and phrases, then Chinese written under them. It has everything you need from food to shoes, like back home. There is one HUGE difference though. It is ALWAYS crazy! It really is like shopping on the morning of Black Friday, but every single day of the week! And weekends are topped off with crazy juice on top. ;) In all fairness, I have been told that it is not quite as chaotic in the early mornings during the week, but can't make it there due to work.
Now, the pushing and shoving is not just a Wal-Mart thing. It is a cultural thing in all stores. I ate at McDonald's today (ONLY b/c I was babysitting and he is so picky and will not each much else), and that was another experience in and of itself. You wait in one line, to order and pay, then move over to another line to get your food, then try to get seat, because it is ridiculously packed. And so it goes.
Back to Wal-Mart. Please read this carefully: It is CHEAPER to buy things in AMERICA that are made in China, than it is to buy them here! No kidding. And, the quality of the products on the shelves in America are better quality than the items here as well. One of my coworkers tried explaining the economics of it all to me, but basically, I am not buying that bull-shit. If apples grow in your own neighborhood, why would you take them across town and sell cheaper? Just doesn't make sense to me. Oh, and if you want plates, glasses, etc., there is not the option of buying a set of 6 in a box. NOPE. They are all sold individually and you pay separately for them. The cheapest (nicest) ones cost roughly $1.60 each. So, a six pack would be nearly $10. And a microwave that would cost roughly $50 back home ended up costing me $110 here. SO, for all of those people (including myself) who kept saying, "Oh, things will be cheaper in China"....we were WRONG. I have made this statement to several people over the past year and I'm going to say it again, here in print, for those reading to see:
Americans are spoiled and have no idea HOW spoiled they are. So, stop complaining about everything until you live in another country. Hell, even visit another country. Do not get me wrong, I loved being spoiled as well, but nothing beats the experience of submerging in another culture, good and bad.