As strange as it may sound, life in China is actually starting to settle into a norm. I think what I mean by that is it feels a little less like vacation to me and little more just like living life. This week I did a lot of working and playing in the Admiral lounge, Jesse came “home” around the same time every evening, we went to dinner at several restaurants we have already been too… Are you seeing a pattern here?
But, that doesn’t mean that we didn’t do a lot of fun things. For that reason I’m not really going to do a play by play of each day this week, instead I’m going to highlight some of the fun things and other thoughts I have on China.
For the 4th of July we were on a mission for American food. We found a Friday’s and insisted that Mandy and Michelle go with us. Back in the States Friday’s is not my favorite restaurant, but I can not begin to tell you how much I appreciated the chicken strips – with no bones and honey mustard for dipping! It was a nice meal and it was fun being able to give M&M a little taste of America. Especially on the 4th!
Monday (or was it Tuesday?) I went for a a long walk during the day. But instead of going my typical route, over by Rainbow Walk, I went the other direction and crossed the bridge over the lake. It was overcast that day but still boiling hot. It felt like it was 247,356 degrees outside. Really it was about 95 with 80% humidity. I’ve got to tell you, I’m amazed at at how well the locals here tolerate the heat. I was wearing shorts and a tank top and I was seconds away from a heat stroke. People were passing me on scooters wearing pants, skirts with tights, long sleeve shirts, hats and jackets (turned the wrong way, I guess to protect them from bugs while riding the scooter). Really amazing.
We also went for Korean BBQ this week. The meal started with a cold pumpkin soup that was light and refreshing. We ordered an assortment of vegetables and meats to grill (and wrap) and there were also a lot of “freebies” that came with the meal. Including cucumber, an egg dish (reminded me of a cold omelet), crab, potatoes and kimchi. Wasn’t my favorite meal here but wasn’t my least favorite either. I would do it again, and just go really heavy on the vegetables!
Thursday evening there was a party to celebrate the progress of the plant and the wrapping up of the first phase. This evening will also be known as the night the beer never stopped. Everyone was in full celebration mode and toasts were non-stop. Furthermore, no toast can be done with a glass that isn’t full. I think the pictures will say more than words.
Saturday morning we woke up early to head to an electronics store with Bohan. Jesse needed to pick up a webcam for work and Bohan wanted to hangout and show us around town a little more. The morning started with a stop for breakfast. I had my first item of food that I could not take more than one bite (or in this case, sip) of. It’s a “green bean soup” that they serve cold and drink from a cup with a giant straw. At first glance it looked like a glass of pickle juice. The first, and only sip, I took tasted a little sweet, a little salty and had a big chunk of green bean/pea. It was a little like drinking a can of green beans. It’s one of the only things I’ve actually gagged on. And the evening before I tried cow stomach (didn’t like the texture at all but the flavor wasn’t horrible). I felt bad because Bohan’s friend had purchased one for all of us but there was no way I could drink it. Mandy told me later “Green bean soup is the perfect drink for summer,” and I had to politely agree to disagree on that one.
Now for my most favorite part of the whole week. Saturday evening we met up with Mandy (to buy our train tickets to Beijing!!) and then we made a trip to the market. The plan was for me to make an American dish and for Mandy to teach me how to make her favorite Chinese Dumpling filling. I can not tell you how amazing it was to be back in the kitchen. Never felt so good to hold a big knife! For my part I had to come up with a dish that could be prepared with out an oven and with ingredients that would be easy to find. I went with Mashed Potatoes and Beef with Mushrooms. I think (and hope) Mandy liked it. I know Jesse enjoyed the familiar taste.
Of course the best part was learning about Chinese dumplings. We wanted make our dumpling dough but we didn’t have enough time, so we bought (well, truthfully we forgot and had to send Jesse and Michelle back out to buy) some and made our own filling. When I get back home I plan to teach myself how to make the dough but for now just learning to shape and cook the dumplings is enough. We made filling for beef dumplings with mushrooms and pork dumplings with cabbage and mushrooms. This week I am going to post the recipe for the pork dumplings but for now here is a sneak peak of the fun.
Thank you for reading!!!!!