A Last Lunch
Menu at Monday’s lunch with Lindan and William (whom we met during the Marryin’ Joseph episode–go look at the pics again):
- Duck eggs with soy sauce
- Crab–three whole animals
- Tofu with meat filling
- Tea mushrooms
- West Lake beef soup
- Spicy frog
- Some kind of whole crustacean, not shrimp, not lobster–something in between
- Shrimp dumplings
- Peanut ice cream
Lindan is our Chinese daughter and we wanted to see her one last time prior to leaving. William joined us, but he could not drive his BMW today because his license number ends in a number that was prohibited from driving on that day. (Interesting method of traffic management, isn’t it! Can you imagine what kind of issues that would create for going to work?)
We had a wonderful lunch with Lindan and William and, as it turns out, William would like to give us some Longjing (dragon well) tea, so we will have at least one more meeting. I’m looking forward to it.
School is Out
Monday was the end of four days of events for us. On Friday, June 15, Char finished with her teaching term at HFLS. We were joined in an after-work celebration at Myth Cafe by Kelly and Amanda, two young college grads who taught with Char at HFLS. We were also joined by Philip and Liz, both of whom also taught at HFLS–Philip in Char’s program, Liz in what is known as the Cambridge Program.
Phil and Liz are transplanted Brits who now call New Zealand home. Liz has just taken a two-year position with another education organization in China. Phil, I believe, is headed for Bulgaria. The couple have an apartment on the Black Sea (which, by the way, can be rented–let me know and I’ll give you the details) and Phil is going to spend some time there.
Actually, that has put a bug in Char’s and my bonnets–spending a couple of weeks on the Black Sea might be kind of interesting. When we looked at the Web site, the apartment rental was about $250 a week–that’s $35 a night, folks!
Char really liked her teaching experience at HFLS. She especially liked the kids, and actually made good friends with a couple of them. She also has made really good friends with a number of teachers, and we expect to have visitors to our house at some point in the future. A least we hope so!
Learning to Cook
On Saturday, June 16, we were invited to the home of another teacher for a Chinese cooking lesson. Yikes! This was really something. We learned to cook a number of dishes, including:
- Hong Shao Rou (a pork dish)
- Steamed pork
- Cantonese rice (a variation of the actual Cantonese rice)
- Steamed eggs
- Cauliflower, stir fried and spicy
- Fried rice (there are many, many ways to make fried rice; best to use cooked day-old rice)
This was a wonderful lesson and meal. I really wish our dinner party partners could have been with us. Our hosts produced restaurant-quality dishes. It was great.
On Sunday, June 17, we took a ride on the Grand Canal here in Hangzhou. The Grand Canal is a man-made canal that begins in Beijing and ends in Hangzhou, a distance of 1,100 miles. It’s beginnings date back 2,500 years. It connects five rivers and was a major economic development for the Chinese. When it was finished in 1300 CE, it also, for the first time, connected the political capital, Beijing, with the commercial center of the country, Hangzhou. The Grand Canal is one of the most fascinating phenomena we have encountered here. It is truly an amazing structure and accomplishment. It completely explains why Hangzhou and Zhejiang Province have developed as the most wealthy province. It explains why commerce has come here and why Chinese (internal) immigrants migrate to the area.
Our boat ride on the canal was short, but the Grand Canal museum is one of the finest I have ever been in, and if you ever get to Hangzhou, this is a must-see. You will find it astounding.
It is difficult to think about leaving this place.