Above are some pictures we took at the local market around the corner. On the menu we have snake, turtle, and alligator. Mmmm!
I thought these babies weren't supposed to keep me awake all night until after they are born! Lately thing one and thing two have decided to start their boxing matches at around 12 pm.
It's really hard for me to sleep when I feel like I have a squid living in my belly! I think they know that we're headed to the states soon and their getting a head start on the jet lag by staying up all night. Or maybe they're just as excited as I am to eat some decent food.
China would be a lovely place for someone that likes to diet, but its not so lovely for a pregnant American that has to eat a solid meal every couple of hours to even be able to function. I think I'm more excited to eat than I am to see our families! (That's a joke by the way)
My neighbor in the apartment above seems to have a certain affection for pounding at precise time intervals throughout the day: morning, noon, and night. Coincidentally, his "pounding time" seems to coincide perfectly with my "napping time." GRRR! In an attempt to keep me from doing some thing irrational I try to imagine that he is building some sort of beautiful sculpture.
But if he's going to keep it up much longer, it better be a sculpture akin to The David!!
Every so often Ezra and I run into other foreigners. When we do, we make sure to say hello. We love to find out what the heck they're doing in China.
We were in a little store scavenging for food when we ran into a cute gal from North Dakota. She and her husband are English teachers and they have a few young kids. We had a lovely little chat about where to find good vegetables and exchanged phone numbers. As we parted she explained that she had left her five-year-old daughter sitting on the front stairs and asked if we wouldn't mind checking on her as we left.
When we found the adorable little five year old, I noticed that she had a couple of gold fish in plastic bag.
Without thinking I said, "Are you going to eat those, or are they your pets?"
As soon I saw her horrified expression I realized what I had said. Of coarse she was not going to eat those pretty little fish. What kind of monster would ask such a question? She's not even a native!
My attempt to make her a friend was disastrous. She totally shut down and would not say another word to me.
Usually I have a much better way with children.
In defense of my behavior I have recently learned that rat is a delicacy in this area.
The thought of scarfing a goldfish doesn't seem sooo outlandish after all, right?!
Appropriately, Cat was the translator that informed Ezra and I of this. We asked her if she had eaten it herself. Her reply was "yes, it's delicious!"
Delicious! I should think not!
We explained to her that in the United States the consumption of such animals is unheard of.
It wasn't the next day when I saw a fat, foot long rat hanging out on the pathway to my apartment. (Foot long only describes its body, its tail was not included in that measurement!) I never thought I'd be so scared of a stupid rodent. But it really threw me when it just sort of sat on the path and looked at me instead of scurrying away.
When I made it inside I texted Cat and told her that I had a huge rat for her. She texted back, "Great! Enjoy it!"
EVERYTHING is fair game in China as far as food is concerned. If can be boiled up or fried it's eaten.
Our landlords Mrs. Who and Mr. Lue (no, that is not the correct spelling) graciously invited us to dinner. They took us to one of the fanciest restaurants I've ever been to in my life.
I knew we were going to be in trouble when we passed a poster of a gigantic cooked Salamander garnished with lettuce on our way into our private eating area.
The first thing they brought out was raw fish. The preparation of the fish went something like this:
Catch it, cut it into strips, and stick it on a plate.
The next fish they brought out was cooked, but it's eyeballs, scales, and bones were still fully intact. It's mouth was agape and its eye's were filled with its last plea for life, I couldn't just eat it!
At this point I started to worry, Mrs. Who and Mr. Lue are pretty much the nicest people ever and I knew they would not be happy if we didn't eat anything. I prayed for something edible. Luckily the next thing they brought out was soup. We carefully slurped and continued with some vegetables. We're not sure what kind of vegetables they were but they looked something like what you might find growing next to a canal bank in Idaho.
During the coarse of our meal we started talking about dogs. I said that I was surprised how many people I saw in Hong Kong eating with their dogs at their tables or even right in their laps. "So in China you can eat dog, with your dog."
Mrs. Who and Mr. Lu expressed their feelings on the subject and Cat who was translating said, "they don't like dogs, because the dogs, it produces the #$*!." Ezra and I started laughing and I explained to Cat that poop is probably a better word to use.
At the conclusion of dinner they brought out a drink- I got pretty excited when it looked similar to a pina colada, I just knew it had to be some sort of wonderful coconut juice. Boy was I wrong, the drink was basically warm puréed potato mixed with water. Gag.
While dinner was a disappointment, the company was great. Mrs. Who and Mr. Lue are such special people. Even though there is a language barrier we have felt so much love and generosity from them.
And although our apartment floods were awful experiences we know that they were probably the necessary method for us to be able to form the relationship we have with these good people. We are so grateful for their friendship.
We tried to talk them into coming to the United States with us, but they think the same things about western food as we think about Chinese.