Living in China is Easy…

5jShopLiving in China is easy – or so says the tag line of my new favourite Web site,

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 – 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.

12 Responses

  1. I’m right there with ya on hating Chinese supermarkets. However, since I work nights, I now go to the supermarket right as they open. If I can find everything I want in less than a half hour, my trip is relatively painless. This is the only way I’ll shop here now and if it opens any later than 8am, I’m not going.

  2. Sounds cool. But I live so close to Carrefour and Jusco (5 min walk) that it wouldn’t be worth it. Fortunately, my work schedule allows me to go shopping at fairly off-peak hours.

  3. I’m thrilled that it worked out so well for you! We haven’t actually ordered anything from them yet (you beat us to the punch), but after that glowing review I’m never going to the supermarket again!

  4. The creepiest thing about Auchan is the Chinese guys who just “hang around”, milling about in the store. No hand basket, no trolley and no items to buy.

    Ex (Thank God) Filipina girlfriend had her mobile phone stolen from a breast pocket in a denim jacket while shopping there. Imagine that ? Whipped out of a breast pocket ?

    Going to Auchan seems to be a social event, rather than a product procurement necessity. I now tend to visit the wet market on Xing Hai Jie, so close – and City Supermarket just down the road. Far fewer crowds and good service – much safer, since I’ve already had a bike stolen from the bike park @ Auchan. However I will look at – but I’d still rather do a visual on the stuff I’m about to buy.


  5. Since I am in a small town (Linping) I get the stink-eye when I go shopping. Part of being one of only 10 laowai I would guess. Now in Canada, that wouldn’t be too bad, because it would only happen as I walked in, and as I paid. Canada hires as few people to work in a store as possible.

    Here, however, there are at least three employees in every aisle. All standing around, not doing anything (other than boldly LOOKING in my basket to see what a foreigner buys)

    Argh, Thanks Ryan, Now it is time for therapy, I guess those memories weren’t repressed far enough.

  6. Pingback: Get English-language books online in China | A China Blog on Suzhou Expat Life | The Humanaught

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  8. Just want to say BIG THANKS for the Joyo Amazon link. Use to make trips from Ningbo to Shanghai to buy books. Ordered 5 today and all COD! Yay!
    Just about to start my 5jshop experience. Wish me luck and Thanks again!

    • No problem Wendi. 5J is good, Auchan also delivers groceries and I think they have an English interface as well. You have to have exact change for the Auchan delivery guy though, and frequently things are cut from the order when they’re not available. Still, quite convenient.

  9. Quote: “Sociologists would have a field day with her. She’s a blossoming bourgeois bouquet and, for better or worse, there ain’t no going back.” And a perfect argument/debate for Galton’s, Nature Vs. Nurture!

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