I had a wonderful time shopping in chinatown last Sunday. Normally I just go there for meals with friends and maybe get some stuff from the bakery. On Sunday I went there for food shopping. I wanted to explore the places locals shop. Try to see where I can get the freshest produce, meat and seafood for the best price. It was a great experience. Althought most people don't speak manderin, I was able to find some merchants and customers that do and willing to answer my ignorant questions. I try to learn how the locals pick out fresh produce. In a seafood store, I saw two buckets of squids. Similar size. One bucket marked $1 per pound. The other marked $2.30 per pound. I asked a customer what's the difference between the bucket? He first replies that the difference is if you are rich you can buy from the more expensive bucket. He did not say it sarcastically. He said it with a tone that accepts those facts of life. He does proceed to explain to me the difference in the squid color. The cheaper bucket's squid has more red color. The pricier ones are whiter.
I am just blown away by how much cheaper and how much fresher goods are. Even my friends that shop at chinatown and flushing says chinatown is better. I will definitely try to work chinatown shopping in to my schedule in the future.