One of the great ways to see a place is at markets. They can be supermarkets, little corner convenience stores, street markets, farmers markets…Whatever they are you will get a feel for the place. You will see people interacting and get a chance to do so yourself.
I just realized that I used Markets for M last year, as well, in my China A to Z series-I must be a true believer!
Some markets from my travels (but not China since I did that last year):
An open air Saturday Market in Port Douglas Australia.
A street market in Takayama, Japan, knickknacks, handicrafts, vegetables, flowers…
The Fruit Market in Tigre, Argentina. They seemed to sell everything there.
Extremely fresh fish for sale in Punte del Este, Uruguay
Be it ever so humble: Our local farmer’s market in West Seattle is just as interesting and colorful as ones in more exotic locations.