This sounds like normal Chinese family to me. Grandparents raise the kids so you can maximise your career. While you are still young enough.
Over a lifetime and extra promotion can give a lot more security.
Remember there are no welfare services like back in Europe.
Chinese often leave the kids back in the village while mum and dad go and work in the city, maybe getting home for spring festival, if they are lucky.
It might sound crazy, in fact it probably is. There is a problem with the mental health of many of the kids left behind. This is of concern to the Chinese government and has been reported in the media.
Kunming Ju Hau Chun is the wholesale market for medicines. Try there. There are, I estimated, about 200 vendors there. Mostly for raw herb, but not exclusively. Shop around there
If you are an expat, and worried about paying over the odds get some little old lady to buy it for you. But there are so many vendors in this area, and it is a wholesale market, I doubt your order would be that big to them.
I would imagine that granules are always going to cost a lot more, as they are a factory processed product. But they do take the bother, and the smell, out of your life.
I don't know why cooking at home is a problem, but we have bought a thing like an electric kettle. Apart from the smell, it just sits on the kitchen worktop and bubbles away quietly.
A reasonable choice of lumber that has improved over time. Fancy hardwoods like walnut, and mahogany are in abundance. There are some plywood and rubber-wood boards available. There are also some kiln dried imported softwoods and merbao available. Some of the lumber is very green, so look for the kiln dried if you need stable timbers.
Echo everything said by others.
Breakfast great and the serve from 8am. Most other places say 9am and they still are not ready.
Sandwiches are cheap 22-32, and really packed full of filling. We got some sandwiches for a day out, the only mistake I made was ordering two, as this was too much. These are seriously good sangars, and they are wrapped in alu foil.
In fairness to Metro, they are a wholesalers, and not really a supermarket. Hence the need for a card, which can be got around.
They have improved in the year I have been away. They now carry a more consistent range of imported foodstuffs and they also seem to have sorted out the mported milk supply.
They have a wider range of electrical appliances now, there is a coice of more than one toast. There is also a better range of seasonal non foods, like clothes, shoes, garden furniture and camping gear.