Sunday, June 2, 2013

QiShan & Squid & Jiaozi

Week 2 with my guy is almost over and then I have to release him to the farm where the wild animals - I mean jr. high and high school kids - will attack him as he tries to feed them.  Poor guy.

I can't remember all we've done since my last post.  We DID climb the evil mountain in town.  It's a fantastic workout - one which we are still feeling in our calves - and brutal on my pasty white skin.  The purpleness on my back is starting to fade to a deep red.  It was supposed to rain all day but of course the sky was blue and there were few clouds and the sun shot onto us like it was trying to cremate us before we could get down the mountain.  (I've been in a decent amount of pain the last few days in case you weren't understanding that).  Basically, Amanda and Evan kind of hate me for making them climb the mountain but I think they are sort of proud too.  I don't feel too bad about it considering I'm the one who was/is closest to full cremation.

Imagine this for 2 straight hours going up. Stairs and slopes and stairs and more stairs.

That was Wednesday.  Monday and Tuesday... don't remember.  I had class, we did lots of laundry, ate good Chinese food.  Nothing exciting there, oh, except for going to my boss's house and making jioazi.  Jiaozi everywhere.

Thursday and Friday we went back to the farm.  We cleaned the outdoor kitchen area Evan will be using starting tomorrow.  Thursday morning we went to one of the bigger markets in town.  My sunburn was making me want to cry and there wasn't a whole lot in the market but we some good fruit and a few veggies for dinner.  Plus, it's just fun to walk around markets.
They call these dragon eyeballs. They're super sweet on the inside and have a pit. Addicting, sweet, and expensive. But we don't have them in America so the splurge is worth it!
It's opium! Yup, just scoop some up and eat it like peanuts. 
FRIDAY was squid day!  We went to this grocery store in town that I had never seen or been to.  We had a van driver who pretty much was a stranger who stopped and picked us up.  Hitch-hiking in China!  He didn't know where the place was that I asked him to drop us off so I just told him to stop at some point and then we spent almost 2 hours in this Walmart looking paradise that had been hiding from me all year.  We bought a squid (one of my favorite things to eat) and then my awesome chef of a boyfriend figured out what to do with it and we had a delicious dinner 2 nights in a row.  One happy girl is what I am!
Isn't she pretty? I think she's gorgeous!
Evan's new baby that he bought and spent 2 hours sharpening. It's quite lovely I think.

Saturday was another day at the farm.  We shad trouble getting a taxi so we walked up tot he grocery store that has the vans.  Then we had a drunk guy hop in our van and he started talking to me.  He was slurring his words a lot but I understood a lot of what he said.  He asked if Evan could speak chinese and I said no so he just said "Oh, he's handsome".  Then he explained why people take vans.  Later, he told our driver she was going too slow so she sped up and THEN, when we needed to stop after our driver started taking us further than we wanted, she didn't hear me so he yelled at her to stop the car.  Drunk men in a van with you doesn't sound ideal, but he was quite a nice drunk, and very helpful.

We then ended the day with a ride back to town in the back of a truck (driven by one of our American friends - I saw 'our' because Evan has been working with him since he got here on menu stuff and they had dinner one night and seem to be pretty good buds by now.  Evan wanted to high-5 someone on the road but nobody got close enough.  We just waved to everyone and watched them freak out at the white people trying to get their attention.  It was great.

Today we went to get jiaozi partially because we're obsessed with it but mostly because I needed to order some for him to pick up for tomorrow's lunch for the start of basketball camp.  I'm pretty proud of my Chinese right now.  I'm doing more than the basics at this point and it feels so nice to be able to say what I want in Chinese.

Fatty (Evan) thought he was sooooo hungry.  To put this all into perspective: one basket of jiaozi has 7 pieces (it was 8 but recently they changed it to 7 I guess).  A normal human being eats about 1-2 baskets for a meal.  The other day we got 4 baskets and I ate a little over 1 and he finished the rest.  That was a little shocking for me.  TODAY, crazy guy said 6.  SIX BASKETS OF JIAOZI.  Unfortunately he didn't eat breakfast prior to our outing so his stomach was all tiny and he only made it through about 2 1/2 baskets.  Somehow I ate the same amount.  A lot for me, a little for him.  But then we managed to get mango milk tea, made a grocery run so we can deep fry some oreos later (because we're healthy like that) and tonight we are having dinner with some American friends who recently moved here.

Only 2 more weeks in my apartment and it's time to pack up and start on our massive summer work adventure.  I'm starting to get details of what we're going to be doing and it looks like a lot of hard work and a lot of fun.  I can't wait!  Home is getting closer and my time here is winding down, but I'm feeling really good about it all.  Having Evan here makes all of this feel a lot easier so I am very, very thankful for that.

(And now he's just showing off and making sourdough.  This. Guy. Is. Awesome.)

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