The Big Question: What am I eating?

Finally, the post you all have been waiting for (or okay, maybe just Stephanie), where I talk about food.  I’m sure this will be the first of many posts on the subject…but for now, and introduction.

Many people have asked me questions, like “what have you been eating?” And no, the answer is not dog or cat.

In the first 3.5 weeks when I was in Beijing, the answer was fairly simple: Jiaozi and green beans. We found a great little “hut” of sorts with Jiaozi (dumplings) for less than $1.  We ate there almost every day.  And I just love green beans.


Obviously, I did eat some other foods in Beijing. But those were the highlights.  But then at last I arrived in Yinchuan.  A place with a kitchen, (well, some might consider that an overstatement), and I have to figure out what I’m eating daily in my home.  We have a pretty great supermarket nearby, as well as a nice little import store, where I can find things like cheese and chocolate chips! Fresh fruit and veggies abound from local sellers. Every day is the Farmer’s Market.


Yinchuan also has some unique local food–“Muslim cuisine,” which includes some very delicious kabobs. It is also well known for noodles (which are also quite tasty). I’ve actually been doing a lot of cooking at home…partly due to the fact that if there’s not a picture menu, I’m not really quite sure what I’m ordering.  (Hence, how I ended up with a milk tea featuring raisins, peanuts and black beans.)  There are definitely some limitations with a single burner and small oven (although I got a bigger one that fits a 9 x 13 pan!) and but cooking, just like life in China, is always an adventure.


Don’t have chocolate chips?  How about some Dove chocolate bars?  Actually, the availability of Dove chocolate is probably both a blessing and curse for me.


When in doubt, there are always eggs.  And, we can even order pizza! 🙂

P1000441     P1000455

Beijing bellies and bunny ears


I look at the window at the crowded streets and sidewalks.  I can spot men with shirts rolled up to expose their bellies to cool them off in the sweltering sun. They call it the “Beijing belly.”  Apparently during the Olympics, they tried to discourage the Beijing belly as a form of impolite behavior, but alas, the tradition continues on.  And it hits me, once again.  I live here.  I live in China.  I’m not here on vacation (even though my current residence is a hotel) or for a semester abroad.  I’m here for two years…and perhaps much longer.


There are moments when the sights and sounds of China seem overwhelming.  I know those moments will come and go, with some days being far more overwhelming than others.  I’m sure there will be times when I think, “did I really move to China?”  Okay, let’s be honest, there are times when I’ve already thought that. 


But then yesterday, we had some English students take us around the city.  As we talked with these two students, my heart overflowed with joy.  And I was reminded of why I’m here.  To see their faces.  To hear their stories. To be a part of their lives. And of course, to stealthily capture some photos of the Beijing belly. 


And yes, I’m wearing bunny ears.  They are pretty cool.