I am home!! It feels weird. The air is so humid, my bedroom is bigger than our apartment in China, and my ankles are swollen like no other. Weird.
I should probably get some sleep and get adjusted to the time change but I seem to be functioning well on 2 hours of sleep… so here are two photos of the day for you!
Friday, November 9th
Finally it is starting to look like fall with a few fallen leaves on the ground. It is still fairly warm outside so I take it as an anomaly. However, I welcome the crunching sound beneath my feet.
Saturday November 10th
On Saturday Peter’s work friend invited us and some other colleagues over to his home for a party. But this was not your typical American party with beer, football on television, and more beer. This was a full out Chinese party with the emphasis being people and food.
Lots of food.
Wade’s wife, mother, and sister were hard at work making a delicious homemade feast of only the very best Chinese dishes. There were mushrooms, beans, chicken feet, noodles, fish, shrimp, soup, and so much more.
In honor of Peter’s upcoming birthday they also made dumplings which are typically only made for the Chinese New Year. However, Peter loves dumplings so they made sure to make a lot just for him. We even helped them make them! You put a spoonful of homemade filling into a hand-rolled flour which you then pinch intricately to create a dumpling! It was fun to learn and they appreciated our effort.
We spent almost an hour eating which takes so long with chopsticks! The table was packed with people but everybody was chatting at full speed and enjoying every bite. I left the table stuffed to the brim.
After dinner we lounged in the the living room talking some more and munching on fresh fruit and Pocky. In the meantime, Wade served traditional Chinese tea. After a ritual of cleaning the cups and tea leaves with hot water, the tea is served in little cups. These tea cups are so small that you can finish the tea in one gulp. I am an American who loves giant mugs but watching the ritual of making the tea made me enjoy every last tiny sip.
We had such a fun time and I was really struck by the differences between American and Chinese customs. In China, every party is like Thanksgiving dinner. People gather to eat a lot and enjoy each other’s company in the presence of their family. I would really like to throw a Chinese style party in the United States and see what happens.
But do you think Americans can party without beer and football?