Chinese Food






My birthday dinner with Barry, Becky, & Ryan at Cindy's Pizza where we made Belgian chocolates


Another foreign teacher dinner with Sherry, Patrick, Ryan, Morten and others

A vegetarian lunch in Shanghai

One of the reasons we love being here in China is the food.  Becky, the NH woman who with her husband, Ryan, are in their second year of teaching here said one reason they chose this part of China is because the food isn’t spicy.  But we can get a variety of choices including nice and spicy Sichuān.  I did worry after reading Tim Clissold’s memoir Mr. China that relates his often mystifying experiences of doing business in China in the 1990s.  Clissold describes his business deal agreements made at lavish banquets where the normally tasty and healthy Chinese food is replaced by the exotic such as fish lip stew, husband and wife–lungs soaked in chilies, rabbit ears, and the very special treat — deer’s whip (deer penis).  The food is eaten while each person tries to out toast the others resulting in very drunk participants.  I wasn’t looking forward to such events.  Then at the beginning of the semester here, the ZAFU English Department invited the other foreign language teachers, Barry, and me out for a lavish banquet.  Oh, no!!  But I liked the many tofu and vegetable dishes including circle-shaped fried potatoes with happy faces cut into them.  Other things as a vegetarian I didn’t eat were the regular Chinese chicken, pork, fish, and beef dishes.  There were exotic choices too: duck tongues, pig ears, frog soup, and eels!! Barry said the eel was particularly good.  We could drink beer if we chose, but the wonderful Lin’an tea was available, and pressure to eat and drink was not a part of the ZAFU English Department event, which I really enjoyed.  I willingly go to any Chinese banquet.


That's the frog soup in the bowl to the right

My Birthday - cake from Becky & Ryan





About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

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