Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Record

Recently broke my personal record for running up the six flights of stairs to my apartment again:

11/25/09 - 22.8 seconds

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Too Long

It's been a long time since I've last posted, which is due to a combination of blogspot (the blog hosting site) being blocked in China, making it inconvenient, but not impossible, to post, and the fact that I've been a bit lazy to post. (Note, I began drafting this blog post Nov 11, but didn't post it because I didn't have the pictures. I got the pictures and published the blog post Nov 25, despite the fact that it says it was posted Nov 11.)

So here's a quick recap on the last couple months:

A few weeks ago I organized a Rock Band party at my place. I invited over the Huzhou laowai (foreigners) that I know, and a few of the English-speaking Chinese with whom I am friends. I made tacos (thanks to Aunt Mary for the taco seasoning), Ellis baked a delicious cake, and with plenty of beer we had a good time eating, drinking, singing, and playing faux guitar and drums. I've got a few pictures below:

The tacos!

On the left, Canadian Paul and his Chinese wife Annie. In the middle, Englishman Jack, and on the right American Brandon.

My beautiful girlfriend Jean

And here are a few of me REALLY getting into singing "Chop Suey" by System of a Down. When its blurry, I'm jumping.

The excited, happy lad in the chair in those pictures is American Edward... a guy who I'll mention in the next blog post (tomorrow).

Two weekends ago while in Hangzhou, Jean and I went to a restaurant that was recommended to her by a workmate of hers. It is a western-style restaurant (read: not Chinese food) and it was purported that the pizza there was pretty good. When we went in, I noticed that the vast majority of the patrons there were indeed foreigners, something, at that point, I had not yet seen outside of Shanghai. Anyhow, Jean and I sat down at our table and ordered the fried squid, the nachos, and a pepperoni pizza.

The appetizers came out first, and the nachos... they were not Chinese nachos, they were not some Chinese approximation of nachos, they were honest-to-goodness nachos chips topped with chili and cheese, and they were awesome. The fried squid were tasty, if perhaps a little too salty.

On a side note, the expression "fried squid" in Chinese (pronounced chow yo yu) means "to be fired" as in, to lose one's job.

The pizza, pictured here, looked delicious, and seemed to be brick oven baked, the way good pizza ought to be. The flavor was also quite good, better than any pizza I'd had in China thus far. But, I have to say, it may have been one of the greasiest pizzas I have ever eaten.

The pizza would look better, but it was taken with a phone camera.

In any case, I was impressed and I think I now have a favorite restaurant in China. I saw their breakfast menu, and I look forward to giving that a go sometime.

That's all up to recently, but I will eventually be posting the remaineder of the summer Beijing/Xi'An trip, and also, I'm going to have a post pretty soon on some if the minor niggles about living in China (other than the aforementioned blockade of websites).