So this weekend I went to Hangzhou to visit Jean.
Frankly, I wasn't even thinking about my birthday when I went to go see her, but when I got to her place she had bought me some snacks, some American-style bananas (more expensive here), and a birthday cake!
When we started to cut the cake, we noticed that the cake-cutting knife was shaped like a fish, which Jean then pointed out was cool because I am a Pisces. After she said that, I said, well now I HAVE to take a picture of the knife, so I did, and then she pointed out that with the shadow, the photo looked like 2 fish, so it was indeed a Pisces.
And for my birthday, she bought me some new kicks, a new pair of Nike sneakers :)
Something a bit random, while walking along in Hangzhou this weekend I saw a statue of a creature with a dog's body and an elephant's head.
Finally, tonight, I went to dinner with Ellis and some of the teachers from the school where we ate an eel dish (a specialty dish of Huzhou, with tiny eels- it tasted like noodles), duck tongue, frog-potato soup, and a few other less exotic, yet still very Chinese dishes. This picture isn't too clear, but it is the duck tongue:
I did try a little bit of everything, and it really wasn't all that bad. And for the most part, I don't really mind "trying" these new foods. However, one exception for me personally is foods with vinegar. Vinegar is quite possibly my most hated of all foodstuffs. Actually Jean and I had a conversation about this the other day. She mentioned that her two most favorite kinds of foods in the world are spicy foods and acid food (acid meaning with vinegar). She said she was glad that I also liked spicy foods so she can share it with me, but disappointed about the 醋 (cù, vinegar).
Anyhow, this next weekend I am going to have a few people over for dinner. Ellis mentioned she was going to bake a cake, and I am going to make baked ziti. One big problem this time though is I didn't get a chance to go to Shanghai to get some ricotta cheese. A friend of mine, another teacher at this school here, goes to Shanghai every weekend. A couple weeks ago she offered to grab something from Shanghai for me if I ever needed anything, so I asked her if she could nab mozzarella and ricotta. She did find the mozz, easily the more important of the two, but she couldn't find the ricotta. So, that means I'm gonna have to try to make the baked ziti without ricotta cheese, OR... try and make a ricotta substitute from milk on my own... We will see...