Tag Archives: travel

these things I have learned..

Six weeks? Already? Good lord time goes quickly. My time in China has officially come to a close, and I write to you now from the lovely Narita Airport and its free wifi. Hallelujah. China was an adventure to say the least. I have never before spent so much time in a place where I knew so little. I was one-hundred percent an anomaly in a sea black hair coming up to my chin. It wasn’t anything like I imagined and yet it was exactly as it was, I suppose. I waded my way through difficult communication, impossible navigation, considerable frustration, oh and piles of fried rice, but I came out better than I was going in. Or at least I hope I did. So I’d like to share with you some things I learned about China, and about life in general, that could only be learned after six weeks in a country where I knew nothing, and no one.



  1. Those lines you see in the middle of the road? Those are just decoration. Street lights? Merely suggestions. No signs nor lines nor lights can stop a Chinese driver should he or she wish to go. The rules of the road are made by she (or he) who honks the loudest, and most often. Continue reading

Zongzi: A Recipe in Pictures

So. I promised you some real Chinese food and here it is! This is a snacky-type-thing called zongzi (pronounced dzong-zuh..kind of..my pronunciation is horrible), and  they are basically sticky rice and some kind of filling wrapped up in reed leaves and boiled. They are tastier than that description might sound. Zongzi is traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival which just so happens to be occuring the weekend after next. So you can make these and have your own little celebration at home! You can make them salty (usually with some kind of pork inside) or sweet (with red beans, or corn or nuts or whatever you like, really).

They are not at all difficult, but there is a certain technique to it, and they are rather time consuming. But I say, grab some friends, a bottle of wine (or disgustingly strong rice wine in our case.. mixed with orange juice because we’re classy like that..) and you’ll be amazed how fast it goes! These are one of my favorite things I’ve eaten so far in China, and I can’t wait to try all kinds of different combinations when I get home. Whoo!

our resident zongzi experts..

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I am the Champion…

.. of ordering dinner in China. Yes folks, you heard right. I WON. So ha-hah! all you doubters! all you non-believers who said I couldn’t do it! ‘you’ll be eating fried rice for the rest of your days muahahaa’ you laughed. but now it’s me who is laughing. laughing long and hard and loud. while my mouth is full of spicy fried noodles. i might have spit one out i laughed so long and hard and loud. because i got those noodles.

and they were good.

and I was so proud I bought myself an ice cream. Because you know why? Well I just deserved one, didn’t I?

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Dinner: [nearly] Victorious

Today. I ordered my own dinner. By myself. Did I just hear you scoff? Do you not think that’s a big deal? Five year olds can order dinner you say? Well not in China, they can’t. Well, if they speak Chinese they can but if they don’t–well good luck. But today. I did it. I’ve been in China for a little over three weeks now. And this was my first night ordering dinner for myself, by myself. Every other night leading up to this I have either had to a) find a place with pictures on the menu, point and grunt, b) go with someone who actually speaks Chinese and have them order something for me, c) go to a bakery where I just put the things I want on a tray and pretend like bread is actually dinner, or, my favorite, d) walk into a restaurant and stand there in the most painful awkwardness you’ve ever experienced until the girl behind the register finally just orders something for you and tells you to sit down [seriously. that happened to Brett and I on our first night in Suzhou. oi vey]. Continue reading

ps I’m in China

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Has it been a month already since I last posted? And I don’t even have a recipe ready. To be fair. I’ve been busy. Since I last posted I took the mcat, completed the semester which entailed two giant projects and a final, started my med school application, flew to China, traveled around, settled down in Wuhan and I’m now attempting to do some research here. Oh yeah, and I finally got to start reading Game of Thrones and I’m officially obsessed. So that’s how my life’s been going. How is yours? I hope it’s swell. 

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