Maybe it's because I've reached that magical point where things really start to piss me off here. Usually I am a fairly civil down-to-earth kinda guy adopting the shake of the head but accepting that weird stuff occasionally happens here.
Went to Walmart today to buy a hat for my gf that I saw there last week. When I came in I walked through the food area and noticed one of the cleaning ladies picking something up from the pile of rubbish she just had broomed together. Out came 2 big shrimps that had fallen down from the ice table. She looked at them carefully then brushed them off a bit and put them back on the table. Uhm,, the dirt on the floor aside it doesn't take many braincells to know that shrimp can go bad pretty darn quick and there was no way to tell how long they had been on the floor.
Anyway,, after having promised myself never to buy "fresh" seafood from Walmart again I walked up to the clothes department and discovered that the grey hats had sold out. There were plenty of other colours but my gf wanted the grey one so I dared to trouble the 3 fuwuyuans standing nearby disgussing last night's episode of "Ugly Mother". "Do you have any more of those hats but in grey somewhere?" I asked getting the usual up-n-down stare from half the staff on the floor. "Yes but we can't go and get them from storage right now since we have to stay here" is what she replied (roughly,, my Chinese isn't so good yet). So after once more having realised that service isn't a big deal here and having tried to argue that the other 600 fuwuyans could look after the clothes while she helped me out I decided to walk down to the soft drinks and stock up on diet cola.
Since Pepsi stopped making Diet for Kunming it's been increasingly hard to find cola without sugar and Coca Cola is taking advantage of this by jacking the price of CC Zero up to 4.5-5 kuai a bottle. I wanted some but after having scoured the isles for 10 minutes coming up with nothing I again dared to ask a fuwuyuan. She repeated "cola without sugar" and took off to another isle where the no-sugar products were. No cola though so I asked her again if they had any cola without sugar and she said no.
Then I asked specifically for the Coca Cola Zero (many people here haven't got a clue that you can get diet coke) but when she was about to answer me the top most annoying thing happened (again). Chinese guy walks over, taps her shoulder and starts asking her stuff completely ignorant that she is with another customer. I guess I could live with that if the salespeople would just tell them to wait a second but as usual she immediately turned her attention to him instead.
Having tried that before I just kept talking ( a little bit louder ) to get her attention back,, when after 30 seconds it finally worked she turned and said "Look,, we don't sell coke or pepsi without sugar here at all". Nice,, a Walmart that sells imported dates from Algeria for 60 kuai a kilo and imported (crappy) cheese for 25 pr 200 gram doesn't even sell diet coke.
Needless to say I am not going back to that place. I can ofcourse accept that things get sold out and that brands dissapear but the lack of service and the way that woman handled the shrimp just doesn't cut it. It's not the local noodleshop we are talking about where you don't expect hygiene is in the Michelin class but from a place like Walmart you would hopefully get better.
You can bash me all you want for not robotlike chanting "This is China" and go on with my business but I don't really care :)