Biking Before Breakfast

5 11 2016

November 5, 6 AM, 6 people, 70 degrees, 120 kilometers to go, pumped tires, fruit, boiled eggs, and excited anticipation.

Thus began our bike trip to Ningbo.

We originally planned the trip for two days, but it was beautiful outside all day and we had no mishaps (blown tires, accidents, falls, etc.), so we made the trek in about 13 hours. When we arrived, we feasted on Brazillian barbeque and spent time together.

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The beautiful overlook from the Ningbo bridge near “lao wei town” (foreigner town).





TSF.

2 05 2016

Each year, we celebrate our own foreigner-made festival called “TSF”, which stands for “Tent-Sleeping Festival,” though little sleeping and no tents actually are involved. Our activities include hanging out, playing lots of ultimate frisbee, cooking competitions, and singing.

This year, TSF also happened to be on my birthday, so they gave me a sword to cut cake with and our team acquired an e-bike!





Qing Ming Jie

3 04 2016

Qing Ming Jie (pronounce “Ching Ming Gee-eh”), a Chinese festival that translates to “Tomb Sweeping Festival,” is a time that most students go home, hike up to their ancestor’s graves, clean off the tombs, honor their ancestors by offering sacrifices (often of food or burning incense), and eat cold food. The festival has roots 2500 years ago in the┬áZhou Dynasty and is very important in Chinese culture.

One of our friends invited us to her house for qing ming festival to make traditional “qing tuan” (pronounced “ching chw-ahn”), which is, basically, a special type of green dumpling.

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ShangHair

17 01 2016
AJ getting her hair cut. The man behind the mirror was my hairdresser, Mr. Hu, and AJ's hairdresser is behind her.

AJ getting her hair cut. The man behind the mirror was my hairdresser, Mr. Hu, and AJ’s hairdresser is behind her.

On my last day in Shanghai, AJ and I decided that it would be interesting to check out the salon down the road. We had barely set foot in the door, when the owner pulled us the rest of the way, incredibly excited that we were there. It was quite the place, and they not only cut, but also “styled” our hair in the way they thought most appropriate.

AJ and I after having our hair cut and very intensely styled.

AJ and I after having our hair cut and very intensely styled.

On my way back to ShaoXing, I was able to visit my friend’s home near Jaixing for lunch. Her mom was a great cook!

On our way to my friend's house for lunch.

On our way to my friend’s house for lunch.

My friends' house is on the right.

My friend’s house is on the right.

My friend and her mom. (The photo is a bit blurry)

My friend and her mom. The host is especially generous when there are lots of dishes and when there are crabs or lots of seafood present. (The photo is a bit blurry, though.)

Saying goodbye at the train station.





Food Street

3 01 2016
Myself, Sam, Lydia, and Morgan as we explored "Food Street" in Wuhan.

Myself, Sam, Lydia, and Morgan as we explored “Food Street” in Wuhan.

One of our feats of the weekend was to explore so-called “Food Street” together, and we tried lots of Chinese specialties, such as pig’s feet, deep-fried bananas, peanut-butter noodles, and so on.

Wuhan is well-known for this dish, affectionately called "peanut butter noodles" by all true peanut-butter-loving Americans. They are made with sesame sauce and have a very similar taste to peanut butter.

Wuhan is well-known for this dish, affectionately called “peanut butter noodles” by all true peanut-butter-loving Americans. They are made with sesame sauce and have a very similar taste to peanut butter.

Deep-fried banana.

Deep-fried bananas.

Yes, those are pigs feet. Turns out they are mostly fat.

Yes, those are pigs feet. Turns out they are mostly fat, though.

There were so many people out that you could barely walk in this narrow street.

All the skewers that people used during the day.

All the skewers that people used during the day.





Christmas Keepers

24 12 2015
One of Allison's gifts was a Baimax dressed in a Totoro onesie, just like her.

One of Allison’s gifts was a Baymax dressed in a Totoro onesie, just like her.

We were able to have a relaxing Christmas together. Our gift exchange included an electric blanket from Allison to me, lots of great food, a soccer ball for Morica (the old one had a hole in it), and much more. We have been extremely blessed!

Friends and food is always a good combination. Note the German chocolate cake Morica made (quite the feat here in China)!

Friends and food is always a good combination. Note the German chocolate cake Morica made (quite the feat here in China)!





Sugars

10 12 2015
Someone brought sugarcane to English Corner. You see it often in supermarkets and in street stores.

Someone brought sugarcane to English Corner. You see it often in supermarkets and in street stores.

In China, the word for “sugar” and the word for “candy” are the same, so sometimes people will ask if I would like some sugar. Tonight, I got to eat sugarcane for the first time. You chew it until it is dry, and then you spit out the pulp.

Tortillas are really difficult to find (or expensive), so I made my own today.

Tortillas are really difficult to find (or expensive), so I made my own today.