I introduced you to some favourite Chinese food in an earlier post. Apparently I made friends around the world hungry and homesick – hopefully in a good way! Here are some more dishes – with love to ex-China friends all over the world.
When expats first arrive in Beijing, we learn a list of basic dishes to order in every Chinese restaurant. Some people don’t get far past this list of foreigner favourites, but there’s so much more out there! Here’s a few of my favourite dishes.
National Day holiday is October 1st-October 7th, regardless of which days of the week these are. This year, that’s Tuesday-Monday. Then the Sunday before and Saturday after become work days. Confused? Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one.
Many foreigners have had the experience of asking for 水 shuǐ and receiving a blank stare. The problem is that “water” doesn’t mean in Chinese what it means in English. Chinese don’t just ask for 水, they specify what kind of 水!
Cigarettes are big business in China, which is the world’s largest producer and consumer of tobacco. There are more than 300 million smokers in China. Over 60% of men over 45 smoke, and about 55% of men in general.
For months the other youth leaders have talked about how I need to get a scooter so we could be a scooter gang. A week ago, on a beautiful day, we all had a meeting closer to town and rode together – it was the inaugural ride of the Shunyi Pandas!
Xiao Chen thinks it’s great how much I’ve travelled, that I speak Chinese and enjoy Chinese food. What truly stunned him was my explanation that in western food potato is considered a staple (starch) food more than a vegetable.
Mandarin Chinese has no true equivalents for the English words “yes” and “no”. Although at first it seems complicated (“why can’t they just say yes and no?!”) once you understand it, Mandarin allows for a wide range of subtle responses.
In Perth with my sister I took a ferry to Fremantle – complete with dolphins, watched State of Origin, went shopping, visited a Beijing friend at a cidery in the hills, and saw a play. It was a great time, with clear air and cider. Then I went home.
I enjoy chatting with Xiao Chen while he drives me home. We have real back and forth, and both learn from each other. He asks questions and is happy to answer mine, and he follows up my comments with questions and genuine interest.
My church expects to lose 30% of the total congregation every year. Last year the youth group lost 50% of our regulars. Cleaning out phone contacts I removed 39 people without deleting recent graduates – from a phone only 9 months old.
As my cab pulled up to the train station I suddenly realised I didn’t have my passport with me. Tianjin is so close to Beijing it didn’t feel like travel and it hadn’t occurred to me to bring it, but as I arrived I realised I would need it. Problem.