It is with regret that I admit last week I forgot to post, although there was plenty to write about (including realising I’m slightly too adapted to Chinese culture when I complimented my colleague on her Snoopy printed mini dress).
The last two weeks have seen Zhong Qiu Jie (Mid Autumn Festival) celebrated in China, which includes a day off work and the special festival delicacy Moon Cake- but don’t let that cute name fool you, these “cakes” are usually stuffed with some sort of meat combination and/or bean curd. Quite the nasty surprise to the unsuspecting palette. Streets were bustling as usual for a Chinese festival and with the help of a friend (thanks Martin), I managed to use my mediocre phone camera to capture the crowd by balancing nervously on top of my Ebike.
The next celebration was Teacher’s Day, for which I got a hug and the creepiest card I’ve ever received, which had pictures of wedding rings，along with the words “Thank you Teacher”, hands clutching hands and in typical Chinese fashion, plenty of glitter and some small cartoon animal walking on it’s hind legs.
As some of you may know I’ve also been battling with a recent intolerance to MSG and food additives which causes my face to swell in a most flattering way. This weeks reaction was one to street food (although I did tell the boss that I didn’t want the dash of white toxic powder on top of my dinner).
For all you who didn’t believe how common it really is here, here’s a snap from my local supermarket.
Since this outbreak my survival kit has expanded to include a pack of frozen corn, which helps cooler the firey rash and some Fruit and Vegetable cleanser which washes the chemicals off my food before I eat it. Washing my food in the water I can’t drink seems like the best way to go about things.
Despite this terrifying new look, my general health is very well. I got my health certificate back from my old school this week which stated (spelling mistakes included):
“No quarantinable disease, infectious disease under survellance or any other disease which is highly dangerous to the general public has been found.”
So that was another weight off my mind.
A new bar opened in town this week and after making an off the cuff remark about how my bartending skills could beat their rubbish service any day, was swiftly taken up on this and the next day found myself at their staff meeting. As I stood at the bar in front of 15 hormone driven university attendees, I plucked up the courage to address them in Chinese and explained (with the use of visual aids) the optimum size for a head on a pint of draft beer. Shortly after I hopped behind the bar, hoping my 6 months of bartending during college would allow to pull one half decent pint. I pulled the pint with beads of sweat rolling down my forehead and when I placed it on the bar and sighed with relief at that head sitting just right, they applauded. Next they came up cautiously one by one to be trained by the master.
Not a bad reception for a nice pint o’ Hoegaarden.
As my language skills develop I can further investigate the inner workings of Chinese men (and perhaps one day discover why they wear handbags, or women’s clothes)…
While chatting to a taxi driver he asked did I want a Chinese husband. This is a standard question to which I normally laugh and say “Perhaps”, but this driver I decided to be honest with.
I told him I was open to different nationalities but usually when I meet a Chinese man in Jiaxing, they don’t really get to know me before confessing their undying love, which at times can be a little disconcerting. I told him their fascination with me is only because I’m foreign. The taxi driver disagreed, telling me he reckoned sometimes they really did like me. I asked him how you could feel this way about someone you barely know.
He looked at me earnestly and said very slowly to ensure I understood;
“Sometimes the first feeling is enough.”
After this encounter I thought perhaps my driver was right, maybe I should keep an open mind. So I got chatting to a local bartender last week, keeping in mind my new positive attitude. He added me on the Chinese version of WhatsApp and hastily sent me this beaut of a picture.
This was the final nail in the coffin that is my interest in Chinese men.