I, like all sane human beings, love papayas. They are expensive in the US, relatively cheaper in Taiwan, and I thought that they were unavailable in northeast China.
So I was delighted to see them in the grocery store.
Fruit and vegetables are sold by weight. The way it works is that you choose your produce, then bring it to a weighing station.
I picked out a nice papaya and got in line. Of course, the woman that was in front of me was buying one of everything, so I had to wait a long time. But no worries. I anticipated eating my delicious papaya while I waited for the grocery store employee to weigh and label everything in the woman’s cart.
Finally it was my turn. I handed my precious papaya to the person at the weighing station. She looked at it, then looked at me with an expression like I had handed her a cow turd. She rolled her eyes and said: “This is the weigh station for vegetables. The fruit weighing station is over there!”
So, even though “over there” was five steps from where we were standing, the machine “over there” looked exactly like the one over here, and there was no one waiting in line behind me, I was kicked out of that weigh station and banished to “over there” with my cow turd papaya.
But that’s OK, I told myself. A little inconvenience and grocery story bureaucracy is a fair price to pay for a delicious papaya.
The fruit weighing lady didn’t give me any grief about my papaya, she just weighed it and slapped a price tag on it: ¥7.23, or $1.20.
The only thing better than delicious papaya is delicious and cheap papaya!
Took it home, washed it, and cut it open. Looked like a great papaya!
Scooped out the seeds, grabbed a spoon, and started to eat my delicious papaya.
My delicious but not completely ripe papaya.
The layer of ripe papaya was about 1/2 inch deep, then it was hard, bitter, unripe papaya flesh.
So I ate the part that I could, and comforted myself that I probably got $1.20 worth of papaya enjoyment out of the experience.