Inaugural post! This should be epic. Anyway, the purpose of this blog is to document my life in a organized way so that the grandkids have something to laugh about later. Focus of this blog: a lot about things I eat, since 10 minutes into my waking day I have usually figured out breakfast and am tackling lunch and dinner. But there will also be all the little stories and random thoughts that come with living in a foreign country...I can't write on food alone. Can I?
So let's get started! I've been in East Asia now for over 4 months. The language continues to be difficult. The people continue to be unflappably friendly and go miles (or kilometers, I guess) out of their way to make sure we are happy and wearing enough clothing. I continue to learn my new land. It is at turns confusing, inscrutable, completely different from anything I've ever known, and at times strangely familiar. It brings me so much joy when I am able to call it home, temporary though it is. And while I think I have a lot to teach these people, the reality is that I still have so much yet to learn.
Food Lesson #1: freshness counts!
One of the absolute joys of living in this country is the people's insistence on buying nothing but the freshest food for their meals. I mean, I come from the US, where we buy mangoes in December shipped from tropical places. The US, while it encompasses many traits, is absolutely not a tropical country, especially in December. So here is an example of daily eye candy on what we call "our food alley", which is a mere stone's throw from our apartment:
I believe these contain some sort of pork and green vegetable.
A husband and wife team run this dumpling cart. He rolls out the dough and oversees the cooking; she stuffs the little 饺子. In case anyone was wondering, I am so very fond of these. Also, I am fond of how they lay the dumplings out in concentric circles in the giant cast-iron pan for neatness.
These were photographed on the stairway of my apartment...I had to capture them before I ate them for lunch!They are transported in what I like to call the ubiquitous plastic bag. If you grab absolutely any food to go in this city, it automatically comes in a small and impossibly thin plastic bag that can't be good for the environment. I've learned to let that go a little bit this year.
note to self: get serious about blogging this year