Sichuan Cuisine

15 Jul

Ai Ni (I love you) written on a Pumpkin

I haven’t blogged in quite a few days, but I have gotten into such a groove of a routine of class, working out, dinner, and then walking around Shanghai or going back to the hotel to relax for the night. A group of us joined a gym which is about a 20 minute walk from our hotel, (which I might have mentioned in an earlier blog post). The gym is on the fourth floor of a 10 story  building which I enjoy because when I run on the treadmill, (which is located beside the floor to ceiling windows), I can watch people on the busy street below. A trainer at the gym, Dylan, is extremely friendly and have at least two conversations each time I make a trip to the gym. He constantly follows the guys around, amazed at how “big and strong” they are. Back at school in South Carolina, I try to work out as often as possible as I am trying to get in shape to play club soccer in the fall at USC, but it  feels like a drag. However, for some unknown reason, while I have been in China I am almost constantly craving the gym.

A typical dinner in China is a family style dinner. Everyone sits around the table and the table orders multiple (traditionally 6) dishes to share. (This has added another meal to my “wish list” upon returning to the states: Buckners. It is a family style restaurant between the airport and Macon). The restaurants are broken up by the type of food that is served, which is very different depending on your location in China. Last night we went to a Sichuan restaurant called Baguobuyi. Sichuan food is food from west China and is recognized by its extremely spicy dishes. Sichuan is by far my favorite! I am not usually drawn to spicy food, but I realized that the menu there did not have very much pork which immediately gave the restaurant gold stars in my book. It has been hard for me to get good meat/protein while I have been here because the majority of the meat here is pork, which I whole-heartidly try to avoid. The most popular dish last night was a dish similar to little bread rolls. Half of them looked like typical rolls, and the other half looked more like dough, as if they had only been baked for a very short period of time. Dipped in an icing type of sauce, the rolls started quite the conversation about Cinnabun. Many of us decided that we would immediately buy a cinnamon roll upon landing in an American airport! 🙂

The majority of people in my group have been stuck in Stage 2 of traveling abroad. (Stage 2 is when you miss your home country to the point that you start to see everything in the country that you are in in a negative light. You see everything as being worse than in your country and you begin to resent a lot of things around you. It is NOT a fun stage to be in!) Thankfully, I was only in that stage for a couple of days. I think that is has been so much easier for me because not only am I here for future career/business purposes, but also because I am sincerely interested in and fond of Asian culture, language, and really just Asia (more specifically China) as a whole. Many other people in my group are here strictly for business/ career reasons. They see the life American business men are able to enjoy in Shanghai, (the nice restaurants, hotels, etc.) and want to enjoy those same perks. Obviously not being in that position yet, they feel robbed having to live in an area not nearly as nice, and with non of the same perks.

After becoming more comfortable with the public transit system, the buses and metros, we have become more adventurous with our wandering. From this, we have found some FANTASTIC western style food. FInally some good balanced meals! I think finding good food that we enjoy has been the main catapult in getting many people out of stage 2 and into stage 3. (Stage 3 is once you have learned to accept the country you are in for what it is and you start to really enjoy it. For myself, finding good western style food is exciting for another reason. I am hoping to be able to come back to China for 3 months next summer to do an accounting internship with a company in Shanghai. I enjoy finding fun restaurants and bars that I can take people to next year. Hopefully I can have some people come over to visit considering I would be here during my 21st birthday and would love to be able to see some familiar faces on that day.

Today I had class from 9 am to 10:45 am. Friday is the day of only discussions in my Chinese culture class. In about an hour, a small group of us are planning to take a very long walking tour along an area in Shanghai that will allow us to visit a daoist and Confucius temple, as well as many other things. That will take up a majority of our day. So after the tour we will go to dinner and then plan to spend the rest of the evening at a jazz bar. Tonight will probably be an early night considering we have a reservation at 9 tomorrow morning for a 3 hour “experience” at a tea house.

It has recently hit us that we only have 3 more weeks in China and there is still a very long list of things that we would like to do and see before we must leave. Josh and Emily spend about 60 minutes the other night writing out a very well thought out schedule for this weekend and next Friday and Sunday. ( Next Saturday we will all take a day trip to Nanjing). I will try to be better about blogging to keep you all updated with our adventures!

Ren shi ni hao gao xing.

It was nice to meet you.

(Just another phrase for anyone who may at some point travel to China)   🙂

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2 Responses to “Sichuan Cuisine”

  1. Joe Goodman July 15, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Hi honey, I continue to enjoy your blog, finding myself looking at your blog site first thing every morning. So you want to spend 3 months in China next summer ? Things are good here, everyone ask about you and I get such a pleasure telling them about your adventures. Miss you and love you so much…. Dad

  2. Cyndee July 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    Hello from sunny 75F Los Angeles! Kylie and I woke up @ 0400 to catch 0725 flight. Luckily sat up front and 2 of my buddies were working it so Kylie had plenty of crabapple and pretzels n ur honor ! She and Malcolm r going to c H. Potter tonight and Universal studios tom and then home Sun. Hope y’all enjoyed the tea house. That was one of my fav parts of the city tour. Haven’t had time to enjoy the tea I purchased there and brought home. Ur pkg should’ve arrived there today. Let me know if not so I can track it. Kelsey loves Madrid so much she wants to stay. I LOVE that ur both maxing out ur travel experiences and appreciating how much can be learned from all the “different”people and cultures n this big ole world. Ur open-mindedness will serve u well n life, both socially and spiritually. Thanks again for taking the time to blog. Reading ur words helps my maternal heart feel close to u. Two Delta jets collided on tarmac @Bostons Logan airport…no one hurt…ruh row. Kylie didn’t get her first choice of dorms so not happy but did get Taylor as roomie n dorm with upperclassmen so sur perks can b found there. Know u enjoyed temple tours. Let me know if u want me to pack all 3 of my monk outfits for overnite stays…for u and the Ems. Lol. I love u sooooo much Kendall Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxo

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