Tuesday, April 12, 2005
From my hotel window, I saw the sun rise thru the veil like Beijing haze one more once... it was magic.
Zia Jian and Xie Xie, Beijing. Min tian jian. Wa hwe la la in Mei Guo and I hope wa hwe la la to Zhong Guo (translation: good bye and thank you, Beijing. I will see you. I am back in America and I will be back to China...or I think that's what I am saying!!)
Here is what our Pekin Duck dinner looked like. They served the sliced duck in the cute little duck shaped platters (see picture). They served the head as well which made our two vegetarian travelers turn all sorts of colors. In this picture, Brad and Ben are trying to cope with this feast. No matter how much we ate, we never seemed to make a dent on the food. See for yourself (from the bottom and clockwise: Pekin duck, deep fried chicken with lemon sauce, brocoli and pinenuts, I think some sort of pork dish, in the middle you see sliced beef, bean paste sauce, pink lotus root with shallots I think, steamed bokchoy, fish with Chinese cabbage, green beans, next to the Pekin duck deep fried shrimp...and that's just the food on this side of the table)
I had a chance to stroll through Beijing's antique market on our last day. The kids all rolled their eyes when I asked if they wanted to come with me! So they all returned to the hotel and I got to hang out on my own for a bit. It turned out to be one of my favorite outings cause of all the old fashion tea shops and tiny little traditional Chinese medicine apothecaries. I saw beautifully carved antique furniture and all sort of odds and ends that came from old Buddhist temples.
Monday, April 11, 2005
We were privilege eat lunch at the home of a Chinese family. The hosts taught us how to make dumplings and we were each able to make and eat our own. In this picture, you can get an idea of how fast she could roll those dough balls into beautifully thin and perfectly round dumpling wrappers. Traditionally, in China, dumplings were eaten when there was a successfull harvest season because farmers could afford the ingredients (flour, eggs, very little pork, green onions or scallions). They are eaten especially during the Chinese New Year to signify wealth.
If I had my way, I would travel the world visiting the smallest and most remote kitchens and learning all their culinary secrets. Learning to make Chinese dumplings in a real Chinese home, from a real dumplin' pro was the closest I have come to realizing that dream!!
Her name is Willow and she told me (thru an interpreter) what it was like to go thru Mao's Cultural Revolution. I was incredibly touched by her testimony and it shamed me to realized that my generation has it so very nice despite all our whinning!
To any World Study student reading this entry: You can earn extra credit by researching the Chinese Cultural revolution and presenting your findings to your class. It is a fascinating period in history.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
These are our epals from Beijing No. 5 High School. This high school is a model school and sponsored heavily by the government. The students are scouted from all over Beijing for their academic prowess. 100% of these students will pass the very rigurous college entrance exams. 100% of the students will be accepted into college and complete degrees in China's most prestigious universities. 70% of the students will choose science degrees!! The school has its own science observatory and very high tech physics and chemistry research centers. If you want to see more pictures of this very cool school click on their website http://www.bjno5.cn