First off, the proxy on my computer is broken. So I’m writing from my friend’s computer and crossing my fingers that I can get a new proxy because I currently cannot get into my gmail account or my wordpress account on my computer! So if you are trying to talk to me via gmail, my apologies for never answering! Also, I wrote the following post before my proxy died, so a LOT more has happened since the following post:
I did not go to Suzhou last weekend. My three day weekend was spent as follows:
First we had a teachers’ banquet (at which I ate little to nothing because it was dish after dish of seafood and odd stuff…the green beans came out and we got all excited because green beans are pretty basic, but then even those were crazy tasting). Still, the banquet was nice because we got to meet some of the other teachers from our school, both international, Korean, American and Chinese.
After said banquet we went out:
Eventually we went to the best place for dancing. It’s called 八八酒吧bābā jiǔbā, “88 Bar”, and it’s fairly big so you don’t feel like you’re dancing elbow to elbow with everyone. Unfortunately, I think I danced a bit too hard, because my foot was hurting by the end of the night. It hurt enough that I didn’t want to go to Suzhou because I knew we would be walking around everywhere. Fortunately, we also made new friends that night (more on that later).
Sunday Morning Doctor’s Visit
I needed to get my foot x-rayed anyhow because I was actually supposed to be able to take my boot off this week, so going to the hospital was inevitable regardless. Our friend Ken who kind of takes care of everything for us here was nice enough to take me to the hospital. It was a process!
- First you had to wait in a line to tell a person in a booth which type of doctor you needed and pay that person.
- Then we went to wait in line at the bone doctors’ room where one of the doctors took a look at my foot (there were two doctors in the room and about a gazillion people too), wrote down a few things and sent us to go to another booth where you paid for x-rays.
- Then you go to a whole separate building, waiting in another line to get x-rayed, then sit and wait an hour for the x-rays to develop. This was actually not so bad though because Ken and I traded English and Chinese. X-ray is X-光guāng (guāng means light), and Ken’s favorite new word was tornado (he adorably kept saying it over and over again in the taxi on the way back).
- After an hour, they handed you a bag with your x-ray in it and you headed back to the first doctor in the other building to look at it. Fortunately he just said that I needed to wear my boot for another month and a half and use my foot less.
My doctor from home had given me a cd of my past x-rays too, and I was happy to see that when I compared my last one from home with this new one, that the fracture really has filled in. It’s clearly not fully healed, but at least it doesn’t look worse even though it hurts!
Learning to Make 饺子 jiǎozi with Ken
So Ken invited me over to his house to learn how to make jiǎozi (even though I felt like I should be the one treating him to lunch seeing as he spent the whole morning at the hospital with me! But he insisted, so I brought him a T-Shirt from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que). He had asked what I like/don’t like to eat, and I told him that I don’t like seafood 海鲜 hǎixiān. When he picked me up, he was carrying a bag of shrimp and asked if I like shrimp. I gave him a puzzled look and said hesitantly that I had told him that I don’t like seafood…he responded by saying that shrimp are river food. Aiya! 6 stories up in Ken’s apartment, Ken handed his girlfriend the bag of shrimp and she put them in the sink. At which point I realized that they were actually still alive because they started hopping so high that two of them actually escaped the sink!
Sitting on tiny little benches at a low table, Ken started rolling out the jiǎozi dough into flat little circles and showed me how to fold in the ingredients. We made some 35 jiǎozi, there was the bowl of shrimp (which I ate two of out of politeness, even though I hate shrimp and especially dislike eating things whose little eyes and feet I have to rip off in order to consume) and this really really delicious Korean dish which was basically little strips of pork cooked on a flat open grill thing (read: bacon) that you stuck in a lettuce leaf with a sliver of garlic and rolled up…probably the best thing ever.
It was fun because the food was fun, but also because Ken can speak English pretty well but his girlfriend can’t. So it was nice to talk to them because I could use Chinese and listen to Chinese, but if I got hung up on a question, Ken could help me out! It was also fun because they had music playing, and Chinese people love random acts of singing. It happened the last time I was in China too; people just aren’t embarrassed to bust out singing, any place, any time. No one gives you a weird look or anything and I love it.
Part II to come. But in closing, I totally bought a pint of yoghurt yesterday by accident. I meant to grab milk, but they’re both in a blue carton, the second Chinese character in milk and yoghurt is the same, and I can’t honestly remember yoghurt ever coming in a giant carton in the states. So you can imagine my surprise when yoghurt poured out over my cereal this morning. Granted, it was vanilla yoghurt and egg and milk puffy star cereal so the combination was not so bad, but still…surprising.
Also, I bought a drink today that had the following ingredients: Water, Fermented Milk, Sugar, High fructose corn syrup, Apple juice concentrate, food additives and food flavor. The characters on the front of said drink mentioned the words lactic acid germ, drink and life. Who knows.