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Meal delivery

The majority of the meals I've eaten in my apartment have been delivered. The delivery fees are tiny and the food doesn't cost much either. I've got a couple of different apps I use on my phone to order food.


Here's the full process.


Step 1: open an app and choose a restaurant.



I use this particular restaurant when I want chicken, veggies, and rice. They also do a rice with duck in it. That's my favorite.


Step 2: Choose your meal and options.



I've got an app on my phone that allows me to read all the Chinese writing. It requires taking screen shots one at a time and then translating them.


Step 3: check out and pay.



You can see this one shows the original and the translation. Delivery is built into the cost of the food. There are always discounts. At the top of the order there are options for where to deliver and when. That's convenient when you want a meal delivery later around dinner time. The cost here is in RMB. Right now it's about 7RMB to 1USD. This meal is enough for two people and it's under $10USD, delivered. The most I think I've ever paid for a delivery was about $150RMB. That was ribs and a Caesar salad.


In the address there's specific instructions to the delivery guy to leave food at the East gate of the school. There's a large set of covered blue shelves and a guard on duty there 24/7.



Every time after a delivery the dude that drops it off snaps a picture and it shows up in my app like this.



I've experimented a lot. Some good. Some not so good. I like experimenting with my food orders. Lots of rice and noodles. Restaurants here realize that if they want to stay in business they have to cater to the delivery crowd. My guess is that every restaurant in business in this enormous city caters to the online delivery patron. If not they might not stay in business.


Dinner Tonight? Mixed veggies. Chicken and beef in a peppery seasoning. A salad. Good stuff.



Last word on this topic. Everytime the delivery arrives the guy calls my phone to let me know it's here. They don't speak English and my Chinese is limited. I've finally learned what to say. "Fang zai na li. Bie deng wo". This means "Leave it there. Don't wait for me". They generally appreciate it and respond "Hao de hao de hao de". It's how they say okay. They've got other deliveries to make and just want to get going.

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I've been wondering about this food delivery. It looks like it is common, given the number of deliveries in the picture. Why don't people cook? I'm assuming it is because you are single and the couples, families cook more often. Is that accurate? Obviously we have a similar system with door dash, grubhub, etc., but deliveries are still much less common here. Just wondering how common it is to not cook at home.

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Mar 06, 2023
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It's very common. For the single teachers living on campus I would say it makes a substantial portion of their meals. I'm certain that families cook more themselves, but if you're just walking around in the city delivery guys on scooters are everywhere. The large apartment complexes have large locker setups for deliveries of food. They all sort of look like lockers you would see in a train station.


Our apartments have a kitchenette set up including a range top, sink, and countertop, but no stove. I bought my own small free standing oven for heating up things like small pizzas and quesadillas. The concept of "baling" isn't a thing here. Meals are prepared on the stove top, not in…

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