I arrived in China at the end of July with an unexpected craving for strawberries. Several months went by without a single strawberry in sight and I started getting nervous. I had basically given up on ever eating them again, until November came by and incredibly expensive strawberries flooded the streets.
For the first month, an average of 10 small strawberries cost about 25 RMB ($3.5). Before you call me crazy for saying this is expensive, keep in mind that prices are different in China. 25 RMB can buy you 40 bananas or 6 jian bings (Chinese breakfast pancakes) or 30 eggs or approximately 50 dumplings – you get the point.
December and January didn’t get any cheaper but those delicious strawberries were what got me through the depressing, polluted and freezing winter. Once we finally got used to the expensive strawberries, the price suddenly dropped in February. Suddenly, 25 RMB could buy you 30 strawberries! And it just kept getting better…
Just last week, we let a vendor talk us into buying 3.5 kilos of strawberries for the very same 25 RMB that could barely get us 10 strawberries just 6 months ago. Even though we made 6 smoothies and tried to eat the rest, we still had to throw some away. The moral of the story is that it is 100% impossible for two people to consume 3.5 kilos of strawberries in one go, no matter how strawberry-obsessed they are.
So if, like us, you arrive in China in the middle of summer, stay patient and know that strawberry season will come! If you decide that you can’t afford to satisfy your strawberry cravings in November, just wait until spring. I guarantee that you’ll eat so many strawberries that you’ll never want to see one again!