living in Singapore

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grocery trolley

grocery trolley

The other day, whilst rinsing the raw pieces of chicken and gagging at the stench of blood and raw meat, I was thinking how I had come a long way with shopping for groceries in Singapore.

Before I left for Australia in 2004, shopping in the wet market was a distant memory. As a child, I had accompanied my grandparents to the wet market on numerous occasions and my memory of those visits were those of skipping over puddles of water in the market to avoid getting my slippers wet, standing by the dry goods store hearing Grandma call the store owner by a female name; smelling the strong whiff of freshly grounded coffee from the store next door; buying snacks from the store that sells biscuits in huge metal tins. My other experience of grocery shopping was shopping at the supermarket. Much cleaner and more modern.

More expensive too I came to realise.

After moving into our first home, I began checking out the wet market. Grocery shopping in Aus was a lot of “I will have half kilo of this, 5 slices of this” etc; checking out shelves of meat for the right cut – stir fry beef, eye round, fillet, oyster steak. I would have thought it shouldn’t be any diff. Armed with ingredients required in weight from my carefully planned meals, I headed out to the markets.

To my confusion, I was greeted with “I can sell you $3 of mince, that is easier than asking me to weight 250g of mince and calculating how much to charge you!” when I asked for the said amount of mince. on earth do I know how much $3 worth of mince weighs?? Chicken marylands were sold at $2/pc, whole chickens were sold by sizes, prawns were sold by weight, you could also buy $2 worth of salmon. ¬†Oh vegetables too. You could buy $1 worth of chillies, 50 cents worth of coriander & spring onions…you get the idea.

It sure as hell took me awhile to get a hang of the system. The first time I came back from the wet market, trying to remember the price I paid for the meat, I took to weighing out each bag of meat to find out exactly how much I was getting for it. *sigh* Just so you know, $3 worth of mince pork worked out to be about 300g. haha. learn about the cuts of meat and to remember that they don’t have weighing station at the cashiers at supermarkets. I keep having to leave the damn queue to go back to the weighing station to weigh the damn vegetables. Gaaaaah

Category: Daily
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