• New Yaohan Department Store, Av. Comercial de Macau, http://www.newyaohan.com/

On the 8th floor of the Ne Yo Pham shopping mall in Macau is their Local Market. I’m mesmerized by the abundance of unique food indigenous to China. If only I could read what’s inside. My curiosity gets the best of me “What are these?” I ask pointing to a large pink fruit with stubs. She says something in Mandarin and holds up a finger. I wait. Her colleague arrives. More Mandarin.

I find something that doesn’t require assistance. Apples. Where are the Honey Crisps and Pink Ladies? As I’m deciding, a girl notices my confusion. “You need help?” she asks. I nod. “Which is your favorite?” “This one here,” she says pointing to something that more resembles a small mellon. “Japanese apple. Very delicious,” she adds. I snag one.

In the checkout line, a little girl behind me reaches for my shopping cart. She wants my apple! My instincts kick in and I pull away defensively. When I realize she’s harmless, I offer it to her as a gift. Her mom and laugh, pointing at my apple and shake their heads. I grow eager. I hope I’ve made the right choice. I hand the cashier three items, a bottle of water, a mango and the apple. I pay and leave.

Back at the hotel, I dig in the back to grab the apple. A crumpled piece of paper comes out with it. I look at the receipt. 182 HKD. Seems steep for three items. I break it down. Water: 7. Mango: 17. Apple: 158. A quick conversion and I realize I’ve just spent $20 USD on a bloody piece of fruit.

Delicately, as if it were going to break, I admire it’s size. I set it next to a regular apple. It looks like I put earth next to Jupiter. It seems brighter than I remember, and if I hold it under the light it shines a bit. I cut her open, carefully. It’s hard and crisp. Promising.

When I get the perfect slice I plop it into my mouth. Closing my eyes, I relish her flavor. Mmmmm… Juicy. Sweet. Delicious. It takes me a minute to formulate my thoughts. A mountain of adjectives race though my head as I search for the perfect way to put it into words. Oh it’s just so… it’s almost exactly… the flavor is just… Wait, I know… it tastes exactly like… an apple!

It would have been better if… I had taken the free one at my hotel.