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Don’t be fooled

April 26, 2013
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Dried meat cubes

They might look like candy, but they’re actually dried beef cubes.  Yeah.  My tutor gave them to me during class.  I ate one and then saved the other two for later (never).


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Square dance music

April 20, 2013
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Although it’s only been in my music library for a few days now, this song is quickly climbing to the top of my most-listened-to playlist.  Pity Sabrina.  She has to live with this on loop whenever I’m working in our kitchen.  Soon enough, I’ll learn the words, and then she’ll have to live with it on loop and slightly off key all the time.

It is currently the most popular 广场舞 (literally: square dance) song in the nation.  So, when old ladies (and I) get together to dance in the square in the evening, this is what we box step, kick, and wave our arms to.  It’s about the beauty of the vast horizon, clouds, flowers at the foot of a mountain, and of course, love.
Here’s a video of some robot dudes dancing to it.  Because the Chinese Internet has everything, as long as it’s harmonious.

 


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Spray rice

April 20, 2013
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Here’s my favorite vocab word as of late:  喷饭

It means to spray rice (i.e., from your mouth, onto the table).  So, as you can perhaps guess, it means you’re really surprised by something (and you’re Chinese, so you eat rice at every meal).

For example, if you want to tell your friends some really unexpected news, you can say something along the lines of, “I’m gonna tell them next time I see them, and oh man are they gonna spray rice!”

I think it can also mean hilarious (cuz you can spray rice laughing) or disgusted (cuz you can spray rice if you find out what you’re eating wasn’t what you thought it was).


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好久不见

April 20, 2013
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Long time no see, blog.  The past week has been an adventure into the world of not having Internet.  Okay, yes, I still do have Internet, but the connection is so bad, it’s virtually impossible to get on VPN, and even Baidu (Chinese Google, always the fastest loading page) lags.  I, even I, who have previously wasted a good hour trying to upload a picture to this darn blog, could not stand how slow the connection has been.  Today, though, I decided to suck it up and waste some time to tell some stories.

As for my Internet access in the future, well I’ve only got two months left here.  Posts may be few and far between, or I might start bringing my computer to cafés more often.


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Getting ready for Singapore again

April 9, 2013
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Warm weather, swimming pools, all kinds of food, wide-open internet.


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It’s all about finding the right shaobing

April 9, 2013
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For two years, I was convinced I didn’t like one of our local specialties, shaobing.  As it turns out, it’s just one of those things where you have to get the best of them and only then can you see that it’s actually, really, really addictively good.  There’s a small place on an average looking street in Tunxi that sells an extraordinary number of these little oily biscuits.  Despite my tendency to avoid eating greasy things unless they look very appealing, I finally tried one from this vendor.  And then another.  And then another.  And another.  So good.  Now I get why these things are so popular.  You just need to know where to get them.


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Strawberry picking

April 7, 2013
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If you go slightly past the Tunxi city limits, you will find covered fields and roadside stands.  Under the white covers: strawberries.  At the stands: scales.

strawberries

 

You may recall, I am the proud owner of an awesome Philips blender.  Fresh strawberries plus a blender is good news for smoothies.

Strawberry farm


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Birthday

April 7, 2013
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Sabrina will never let a birthday go by uncelebrated.  🙂  This year, I was surprised with an absolutely delicious chocolate chip cake (which I’m still eating unreasonably large portions of each day),  a hot pot dinner, and a Zumba workout DVD.  I guess I’m 24 now!  Life is good.


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New jeans

April 7, 2013
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So, I went jean shopping in China.  I went to a small shop in Xiuning that sells, well, jeans and nothing else.  I didn’t plan to ever go pants shopping in China because I do not have a typical Chinese woman body-type, but it’s really unacceptable to wear ripped clothing here, and all my jeans are pretty torn up, so I didn’t have much choice.

Chinese fashion is like this: glitter, decals, flowers, over-the-top, US-90s-style dyed and distressed.  My fashion sense is like this: the simpler, the better.  Surprisingly, my quest was reasonably successful.  In the whole shop, I was able to find one (1) pair of jeans that didn’t have weird glitter or chains and that completely covered my ankles (at least while I’m standing up).  I guess these pants would qualify as skinny jeans, which isn’t my usual, but I’m pretty happy with them.


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