Travel Diary: An American in China, 7

July 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hey folks!

Once again, I’m fresh off an airplane and resting in bed. Shenzhen was wonderful, as always, but it was pretty much a whirlwind of F’s- family, food, and FIFA! I played with puppies and hung out with my two younger cousins, and all in all, had a blissful time. Before we get to all that though (it seems that this phrase is all I say on here), we must finish up some Nanjing and Beijing ย posts.

So, so…

After our hot-pot eating adventure, we needed a little something-something to cool off with. Therefore, we headed off to KFC and snacked on some of this:

Vanilla ice cream with caramel syrup and almond jelly. That definitely hit the spot! A look out the window brought me this amusing spectacle:

Here, they deliver from Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, McDonald’s, KFC, and other common American fast-food restaurants on bikes! During World Cup season, the delivery boys wear soccer ball hats, as well. How funny…

We also had to make a little stop at one of our favorite haunts, Da Pai Dan, on the Lion Bridge area of Hunan Road. The restaurant has the prettiest decor- I felt like I was in the middle of an ancient Chinese show. There are many goodies lined up in a showcase area and you just go around with a little card, letting the waitresses stamp it for every dish you pick. Super fun! Here are some of my personal favorites:

Haha, sorry about the fact that it’s already half eaten. I was one hungry gal ๐Ÿ˜› This is a simple dish called “rice with vegetables”, which is self-explanatory. There’s also pieces of sausage ๐Ÿ™‚ My favorite part? How it’s served in a tiny wooden barrel!

This is a dessert called “tang yu miao”. It’s a light gelatin-like soup with puffs of taro and a sprinkling of olive flower. Oh, I love it so.

We waited for like, half an hour just for three of these duck meat soup dumplings! It was well worth it. There’s a LOT of soup in those fragile lookin’ things. I gobbled up two in about two minutes… I can’t say no to anything that tastes like BBQ!

So, I’ve showed you a lot of restaurants that I frequent. Year to year, I will always stop by these places to chow down on some old favorites. There are, however, new restaurants that I will visit and fall in love with. This year’s frontrunner for Best New Find is a hot-pot restaurant (no surprise there) called ‘Yi Zhun Huang Niu’ or ‘Regius Beef’ in English. What’s so special about this hotpot?

You get your own little mini-pot! It’s so entertaaaaining! You get to push little buttons and control the pot to your liking. Oh, and also, you get to mix up your own sauce:

I’ll let you guess what’s all in there, since I can’t even remember! It was something tasty, I’ll tell ya that.

Like always, I held a soft spot for a treat that stayed away from the pot. In this case, it was a durian pastry! I am usually not one for the stinky fruit with an aftertaste that’s just supremely ick, but when it’s toned down with cream and sugar and encased in the most buttery, flaky crust… I’ll take it over and over again…

Aaaand… here’s my preferred in-da-pot treat. Noodles! Hey, I’m even making an effort to be healthy since the green ones were spinach-infused. Sooo tasty… I probably ate half that plate all by myself. No joke.

Skype has been a lifesaver. I’ve been having nightly dates with my sister and once in awhile, I’ve chatted with Brina the Weirdo. Yikes. Nice to know she’s the one updating me about life back in H-town, huh?

So, y’all know how I feel about trains. Not my preferred method of travel. Then, you won’t be surprised by how I took to the fact that I would have to take a twelve-hour overnight train to Beijing. Let’s just say, my mom wished she had ear plugs ๐Ÿ™‚ There are four bunk-bed cots in each compartment. I spent the night with my mom, my sister, plus some random stranger with a 2-yr old baby that screamed the whole way through. It’s a good thing that I have a brutally hygienic aunt who prepared us with disposable plastic tablecloths to use as sheets. I am also unusually satisfied by my becoming a smart packer and investing in an eye mask to block out the light, headphones to block out the noise, and a jacket to keep me warm.

Tomorrow’s my last real day in China and I’m getting a bit weepy about it (literally- I’ve cried like three times). I’m spending the morning with that precious little babe, the afternoon with my cousins, and the night with my beloved grandparents. I’ll try to stop by and post a little something around 2 AM as usual, yeah?

C

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