Monday, July 23, 2012

Food, rest and China church - Day three.

We woke early Sunday morning after about 5 hours of sleep. We went to the apartment of some fellow Americans and had some great time in the Word and worship in their home…..and they had coffee…halleluiah. Apparently, they don’t “do” coffee in China. Didn’t get that memo.

After we left there, we walked a pretty good way, got on a bus, and then walked some more to a restaurant. The buses here are neat. And by “neat” I mean “packed like sardines with people who can’t recall their last shower and if you don’t get on or off in about 1.3 seconds you WILL be left behind”.

The restaurants are weird because they have rooms with room numbers, sort of like a hotel, but it has a table for a group to sit in the room. They have big round tables with a lazy Susan in the middle. We had everything from Chinese “meatloaf” (actually really good), to potato noodles, garlic cucumbers, eggplant, fried green beans, rice and some more stuff I couldn’t identify…but ate anyway. Thank goodness I already knew how to use chopsticks, because those who didn't nearly starved. There are no forks. It was a huge feast and it was awesome!
Mandi trying (and not succeeding) to teach Sarah to use chopsticks.

Steaming hot water.

Tons of food! And it is SO cheap!

Corn situation with sugar.

Funny rooms you eat in.

Then we spent some time preparing as a team for the English camp. Lots of details to still be worked out, but we start tomorrow and I think we are ready! I think…..

We walked through the University campus (which is beautiful) along the “path” to our hotel. It isn’t a path so much as it is a 30+ minute walk through sketchy areas, markets, piles of trash etc. Once we got back to the hotel, we walked some more, hopped on another bus and went to a restaurant that has caramelized fruit. It is crazy because the restaurants don’t have doors, they have long plastic panels you walk through, like you would see in an industrial size freezer. To get to our “room” in this particular restaurant, we walked through one section, out more plastic panels into a shady alley way, then back in to another part of the restaurant to eat. But, it didn’t matter one bit because caramelized fruit with egg fried rice is the business.
Caramelized fruit. You have to QUICKLY dip it in water and then put it back on the plate so it doesn't all stick together.

We put all the best chopstickers on the can see Sarah smiling and watching in the background :).

We are now back at our hotel and in the bed. So exhausted.Like falling asleep in mid conversation at dinner exhausted.

A few observations about China:

-Apparently, a long time ago, some China grandmas realized that the water was making everyone sick, so they boiled it and it stopped making everyone sick. So now, they won't drink water unless it is steaming hot. Seems they never figured out that once you boil it, it is safe. It doesn't have to STAY hot. So all the water here is steaming hot. Very, very steaming hot.
-Lots of designer, well groomed dogs roaming the streets. Didn’t expect that one.

-Unlike Africa, these people really hang on to their kids. In Africa they seemed to just roam free (I guess because there were so many more of them) but here they are always holding the hand of an adult or being carried if they are small.
-The streets are crazy with buses, motorcycles, cars, bicycles, and people
-Tons of watermelons. They are everywhere. Apparently they are the only way to stay cool because they have very little air conditioning. And more fruits and vegetables being sold in all the street markets than I have ever seen.
Literally trucks filled with watermelons everywhere.
-The women just seem to be out an about for a normal day, but they are all snazzed up in high heels and short dresses.
-Everyone smokes. Except for the babies. Or at least I didn’t see any smoking babies.

-Africa people are so excited to see mzungus. Even if they don’t care about what we have to say to them, they just think we are awesome with our light skin and hair. These people seem completely indifferent to the fact that we are even here.

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