Most ethnic Chinese are lactose intolerant, which means that milk, cheese, and butter are primarily consumed only by foreigners and, as such, particularly difficult to come by. We had some friends from Florida visiting town a few days ago and upon hearing of our dairy woes, they started pocketing every pat of butter they encountered - they were staying at a hotel that caters to Westerners and was flush with dairy products. We were unable to find their cows but we are certain they must have their own stock somewhere nearby. So now we have enough butter - in very convenient, single-pat portions - to last us until the cows come home. So to speak.
You can see here the windfall we scored, with the butter at the heart of it all.