24 Experiences You Only Have At Asian Supermarkets

You’ll suffer through that peculiar stench for some Pocky sticks.

1. When you walk into one, you are met with a dangerously pungent mystery smell.

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2. (That you can only blame on the unfortunate mixture of dried fish and durian fruit.)

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3. You’ve plucked “fresh” produce from cardboard boxes.


Or, if they’re slightly a more upscale establishment, plastic containers.

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4. And it doesn’t even matter if they’re fresh. They’re ridiculously cheap.

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5. You’ve had to stand idly by with the shopping cart as your mother expertly selects one bundle of bok choy over another.

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6. You’ve seen it all and nothing fazes you.

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7. Well…not always.

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8. You can purchase fine pottery in the same vicinity as live octopus and fermented duck eggs.

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9. But you have to maneuver those aisles carefully ‘cause you know the consequences.

And they’re not playing.

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10. You’ve witnessed a butcher dismember and package an entire duck in literally under 10 seconds.

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11. You’ve watched your mother lift and sling a 70-pound bag of rice like a fucking champ.

(You’ve tried and struggled.)

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12. You and your family have been buying the same groceries your entire life, and you still don’t quite know what they are.

I don’t know what you call these, but when you sautée them, it’s fucking delicious.

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13. You’re extremely grateful of establishments that have a slightly higher standard of order and cleanliness.

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14. Because when it’s Saturday afternoon and all the families are out, it is every-man-for-himself anarchy.

As a kid, you were always assigned to watch the cart at HQ while your parents ran back and forth.

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15. You used to watch the live crabs crawl all over each other and wonder how they haven’t figured out how to escape.

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16. You’ve accepted that presentation means nothing.

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17. Except those moments when they mean everything (and no one else around you quite notices or cares).

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18. You rarely need to exchange a single word with the cashier.

No small talk here: strictly business.

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19. And there is usually no scanner because they somehow know the prices of EVERYTHING OFF TOP.


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20. But that’s OK: Your total will always be under $100, and you have a trunkload of food.

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21. Somehow, to this day, most Asian supermarkets are still cash only.

(But let’s be real: No matter how big, most stores still don’t want to pay that credit card processing fee.)

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22. You and your family have been going to the same local grocer for years now, and you’ve accepted its quirks.

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23. Because it has what you really want.


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24. And so much more.

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