Little Slices of Life
After a grueling battle, I finally beat my ailing macbook into submission and was able to get a few minutes of stuttering, 207°F CPU-temp OSX beachball editing in Lightroom before it started to freeze up. But it was enough to edit and convert some of the photos I’ve taken while here.
This post is a nostalgia post, and it is dedicated to Scott, Bob, Benny, Robert, and Lee, as these photos will mean the most by far to them. It is also in memory of my ‘son’ 烤串儿Kaochuanr，who thankfully was adopted yesterday by a milk-white lady from San Francisco who speaks fluent Mandarin. I’m so happy that he found a loving home. As of this morning, they’re doing great together, except for Kaochuanr, who doesn’t know he’s about to be neutered in a day or two.
The first one is a photo of 今典花园六号楼 Jindianhuayuan Building 6, looking west towards the building. This was where we lived for the better part of a glorious year in Beijing. This place holds the majority of the unforgettable memories that I have from my year in Beijing.
This is 皮蛋豆腐 tofu with preserved Egg, , from that 四川 Sichuan restaurant around the corner with the 烤肉串儿老板 who always loved chatting with us. We must have hit that restaurant thirty times in the past year.
This is 番茄牛腩锅 or Tomato Beef Brisket soup, a favorite because it is one of the few dishes at the 四川 spot that wasn’t swimming in grease. It’s definitely as delicious as it looks.
The 羊肉串儿 that Benny, Scott, and I bonded over many a night. And more than a few times they have made a second appearance later on after a few too many beers. These are special because they’re only 五毛钱, or five mao, each. Most other lamb skewers you find in the city are 一快钱, or 1RMB each. These are a bit tinier, but for some reason they always tasted the best. And nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment of having a stack of 30 bamboo skewers next to your plate. The man who cooks us has Benny’s email address and chats with him every once in a while. This restaurant was one of the first places I went to when I came back to Beijing, even though I live on the exact opposite end of the city. It’s nice to feel like you’re at home sometimes when you’re across the world from home.
Last but not least, here’s a few shots of 小八, my 八姐. She’s one of the 北师大 BNU teachers, and she is also one of Scott and my closest friends in Beijing. You wouldn’t know it from any of the photos anybody has ever taken of her, but she’s one of the most 变态 people I have ever met. Ever. I’ll let you look that Chinese up if you are interested.
These photos are of her performing in the 浦北班 Princeton Summer Chinese Program End of Year Talent Show. She was a teacher for the second year students. The kids who come over and participate in this program are Chinese students from most of the Ivy League schools in America, who spend about two months in China and are only allowed to speak Chinese while here. If they are overheard speaking any other language, they are sent home. Needless to say, their Chinese is impressive, although they still all have that somewhat eccentric…off….feeling to them. Weird people. Very weird. But they put on a great show. This is my 八姐 dancing for one of their performances, then a picture of her face after I showed her the pictures.
This post is a nice stroll down memory lane for me and those who were in my closest of circles while here in Beijing. For the rest of you, I hope these pictures make you hungry and make you crack up, in that order. Life out here is completely different for me this time around, now that all of my friends are gone and I live in the business district of Beijing there are far more foreigners and rich Chinese, and far fewer places like this. I’ll explain in more detail later.