Monday, May 31, 2010

LiXi's Wedding: Friday, May 21st

I knew it was going to be a good day when I found this new English-language school on the way to work. Talenty English, talenty education, indeed.



Around 3:00pm, one of our local employees sent around an email to the American officers, inviting us to her wedding. Of course I had no plans, so Beth and I joined some of our local section employees.

Dongmei, Jina, and Beth:


Fengying, Ms. Chong, and me:



The ceremony took place in a restaurant, which was really nice.



Our Consul-General toasted the happy couple, with help from another employee, as he had lost his voice:



After the ceremony, the CG - still unable to speak - began pouring the baijiu, much to Beth's enjoyment.


An hour and a half later, a bottle of baijiu later, and 6 Qingdaos later...


The next picture is of Mr. Xu and I seeing how low we can go with the baijiu toasting. The picture is blurry because...so were we. Also, baijiu is a clear grain alcohol with a higher proof than vodka - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baijiu. When you toast in China, you try to "clink" your glass at a lower angle than the person's whom you are toasting, to show respect. Hence our contest.


Beth demonstrating to Liu Chang the meaning of the "drunk dial." Of course she was dialing her fave driver / future boyfriend Ma Jun.


Late in the night, the bride and groom came around to every table, joined by their parents, to toast the guests and thank them for coming.


Congratulations, Lixi!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A smattering in and out of Shenyang

March 24-25: best fraud conference EVER in Shanghai! At Glamour Bar on the Bund, with a few other officers:

A recent fraud site visit in Shenyang, two rent-a-cops. (the company turned out to be real):
May 1st (International Labor Day holiday), spent in Hong Kong with Brandon. Brandon's friend Freeman had done some research ahead of the visit, and found a cheap, hole in the wall dim sum restaurant that was opened a few years ago by the former chef at the Four Seasons. It didn't take reservations, and the wait was over 3 hours. It was also completely worth it. It was the best dim sum I've ever had, and it all cost about $6. Here are two articles about the restaurant:
and
I highly recommend it.
Yu Chen and Freeman, after stuffing themselves with sui mai and cha shao bao:
Brandon and I have never been happier :)


Two weeks ago, my dad came to Beijing for business, so we spent the weekend together going around Beijing. He was especially excited to see the Kung Fu panda in Sanlitun:
Rickshaw driver trying to blend in, in the Russian quarter:
Right outside the Westin hotel:



Haggling at the dirt market:
And finally, on a typical night out in shenyang, I find another reason why the Chinese will take over the world. Genius.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rabbit Tongue and other delicacies

Although my prior post implies that I ate nothing but chimichangas and tacos while in Chengdu, I actually did sample a lot of the local Sichuan food. One of the best restaurants I went to was just around the corner from the consulate, and its speciality was rabbit.

This is one of the spicy peppercorn side dishes, and I can't remember the main ingredients. I think it was vegetarian.

Here are two rabbits that we ate for lunch. Really spicy and super delicious.

Can you spot the eye socket and the jawbone?
The inside of the cheek is apparently a delicacy, and it was very tender. The tongue was also very delicious, but it took a minute to work up the courage to eat it.


This is a totally separate meal, from my weekend trip to Jiuzhaigou. Lamb skewers and harbin beer. perfection.


A view of the river in Chengdu from a teahouse. You can see why I never wanted to leave.


And one final picture taken from my iphone. This is the drive back to the airport from Jiuzhaigou. I think that part of my negative impression of Jiuzhaigou derived from the amount of snow on the ground. I had just left Shenyang, where it snowed for seven consecutive months, and I didn't want to see any. more. snow.