Posts in China

GalleryThe Great Road Trip of China: Yunnan

Pepper harvest outside of Nánjiàn

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The Great Road Trip of China comes to a close

It's been an incredible journey. Other than listing out superlatives -- the highest altitude we've visited, the longest drive, the most diverse travel in terms of language, weather, people and geography, the longest stint of consuming noodles, the most interest strangers have ever taken in us -- we're still trying to organize all our thoughts and visuals to bring the experience more into focus for you. We have so much to tell you. Just bare with us while we sort and pack all our stuff, sell our car and all other acquired gear, drink a few beers, pay our traffic fines, cancel our insurance, visit with friends, and buy plane tickets... 

In the meantime you can enjoy this happy bunch. We greatly sympathize with how they melted into smiles within just a few photos. We also had our moments ... View Post »

GalleryThe Great Road Trip of China is about to commen...

Oh, hello there. It's been quite a while, I know. We've been in China this whole time, I swear. There have been five weeks of Chinese language classes and three weeks of a whole-hell-of-a-lot-of errands in between us. Now, Chinese drivers' licenses in hand, car purchased, Chinese car insurance decoded, food, camping and survival items bought off of Taobao (in Chinese!) and stuffed into the car, and our brains fully saturated in survival Mandarin, we're doing the final route planning for The Great Road Trip of China. View Gallery »

GalleryMandarin mannequins

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GalleryHong Kong and Kunming on Film

A good ride in Hong Kong

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I dao know

We were walking through the local market, surveying all the curing pork, vegetables and fruit yesterday when we came across a woman selling the freshest greens we'd seen. She had huge Chinese scallions, all manner of bitter green, lettuces, gourds, cucumbers, etc. She approached us and made a sweeping gesture of her goods to indicate we should buy. We responded that we couldn't cook. She chuckled, shaking her head, and then said something. View Post »

Forays in Mandarin

At Dune Cafe in Kúnmīng yesterday, Matt ordered, "young soybeans" for 15rmb. The waitress brought a frozen chunk of edamame with a tiny side of soy sauce. Matt ate a couple and noted at least the beans weren't frozen. We wondered briefly about how the soy sauce was intended to be used. Then Matt brought them back.

Matt: "Wèishénme zhège yŏu bīng?" Why does this have ice?
Waitress: "....bīngde" ....frozen
Matt: "Bīngde" frozen
Matt: "Zhège kĕyĭ yŏu...kĕyĭ méi yŏu bīng ma?" Can this have...can not have ice?

The waitress smiled sheepishly, took the plate and brought it to the kitchen. Matt ordered two more beers and came back. In one minute the plate was returned with 8% less ice.

Waitress: "Hăo ba" Good?
Matt: (Pause, looking at me). "Méi yŏu wénti." No problem. (Pause, as he ... View Post »

GalleryHong Kong Part 1

Our first week in the East was a blur of friends, food and foreign sounds and smells. We came to Hong Kong, in Matt's words, for 21 meals. And we were amongst friends for every one of them. Thanks again Keiyu, Joyce, Henry and Michelle.

It was a whirlwind of new tastes for me. There was succulent Beijing roast duck, (cha siu bao) sweet pork buns, and spicy chicken feet. There was also bits of pork wrapped in feathery light rice dumpling wrappers still stewing in a light broth. We tried hot pot filled with thin, marbled slices of beef, tender fish balls scraped fresh from a paddle, and fried fish skins that tasted like papadum. We had our fair share of sweet local crabs and an oversized crayfish covered in sauteed garlic (whose name in Cantonese means pissing cockroach). View Gallery »