Going grocery shopping in the United States usually entails making a list, hopping in your car, driving to the store, getting a grocery cart and going from aisle to aisle to fill up your cart with processed foods, soft drinks, week old meat/fish (if you’re lucky), and perhaps semi fresh fruits and vegetables….then finally going to the checkout counter to get everything rung up and bagged. Yes, you can do the same thing in Vietnam if you so desire…since there are bunches of American-style supermarkets (Sieu Thi) popping up everywhere.
My Aunt only goes to the supermarkets for sundries, like laundry detergent, toothpaste, batteries, etc…..when she needs fresh meats, vegetables and fruit for dinner…all she has to do is walk out the front door….turn down a small alleyway…pass through (yes THROUGH!!) a neighbor’s house…to get to a street where a bunch of street vendors sell all the fresh ingredients you would need to make a proper Vietnamese meal. All the vegetables sold were harvested just the day before, and the fish and meat are fresh kills from the morning. Almost all the local Vietnamese neighborhoods have a similar street where people go shopping. I think it’s a pretty neat and convenient way to buy groceries….you would never see this in the United States!