I have an innate hatred of supermarkets. The faster I can get in and out of them, the better. But the big supermarket near me in Nanjing takes the cake with the time and motion issues. Walking down the street you pass what were the main doors that opened right beside the escalator going up to the supermarket. They’ve closed them, forcing everyone to a far entrance where they have to negotiate the entire lower floor of the shopping complex, to get back to the point they just passed. Then you embed your teeth in the couple in front of you who’ve just stepped on to the 2 kmph escalator and stopped dead. And then another escalator to the next floor. Then you get the escalator back down a floor to the food and cashier level, grab the food, and get in a queue. Any queue because there us no express lane. Then down the escalator, pass the doors to the street that are closed, and negotiate the whole bottom of the complex again to get out.
However, in a corner of the complex, at street level, there’s a basic, chain-style restaurant. After perusing the menu for ages, I generally always go for the 16 rmb basic bowl of noodles (see featured image). It’s usually more than enough for me, though sometimes I make the mistake of also ordering some dryish dumpling-like things as an entree (mistake because it’s too much food) .
Eating these noodles requires a combination of chopsticks and slurping from the large soup spoon. Wearing nice/light clothing not recommended. But if I’m looking for a relatively quiet place, off the street (and out of scooter horn range), it’s not bad.
This supermarket/shopping complex is on Danfeng St. Be ready to confront the scooter riders, who assume they have full right of way over any pedestrians on the footpath outside.
And then, having over-eaten, I can waddle off to the small supermarket in my alleyway. Doesn’t have everything (no wheat-germ for my muesli), but I can duck in and out quickly.