As I write this we are over half way done with our internship, and I am experiencing a bittersweet feeling. Although I know we are all eager to get back to the U.S. to see our family and friends – and to try TacoBell breakfast – I also know China has become a lot like home (I’m speaking for myself here). Not only am I finding more food that I like (details and pictures will be found below), I am finding myself taking part in the tendencies of the Chinese. For example, crossing the road whether there is traffic coming or not (YOLO), and non-hesitantly squeezing between those two random strangers on the bus. The overwhelming feeling I get while here is oddly comfortable when it comes to experiencing the culture and the people. The older and/or disabled people begging on the street corner not only grab your attention, but your heart as well. And then there are the groups of old people meeting up and do t’ai chi in the gardens who, although at least three times your age, make you feel ashamed of your physical abilities… and make you want them to be your grandparents. Alright, so I’m a sucker for old people… and babies… and animals. Especially baby animals. Which is why I am now mothering two puppies who were abandoned. Although the weather is warming up (and consistent unlike good ole MO weather), we knew they would not make it on their own. Spring is in the air here and the flowers are blooming everywhere!
As we know, back home, classes are wrapping up and we are all eager to finish our online courses to have a little more free time. May 1-9 we have a May holiday and have plans to travel. The four of us will be joined by a couple of our international friends from Columbia – Jose and Yalena. The Terra Cotta Warriors are calling my name… but since it’s lunch time, so is food! Some new food that I have enjoyed is the bowl form of my previously stated chicken (I said pork before… oops) dish, which we simply call mifan (rice). There is another stand near campus that sells wraps that have an egg cooked inside the dough, lettuce, grilled ham, and spicy sauce! It is convenient and quick much like baozi. Baozi is something that I am going to miss terribly. It literally translates to “steam stuffed bun” and is exactly that. I prefer zhūròu, or pork, baozi. These are particularly nice to pick up on my walk to school and devour for breakfast. The best breakfast I’ve had thus far is without a doubt Kentucky Fried Chicken’s breakfast. Yes, it was just a sausage, egg, and cheese hamburger bun with coffee, but it reminded me of home. (Y we no have KFC breakfast in America?!) Some other American products that are better in China are birthday cake Oreo’s and Lay’s chips. My favorite flavor is now Fun Wasabi and Shrimp (discovered thanks to Yalena). They pair perfectly with hot green tea garnished with a slice of fresh orange!
A special thanks to my family for the care package, it is refreshing to have a literal taste of home!