New Culinary Experiences
- cow stomach
- spicy frogs
- chicken feet ("Bite the toes off first," they told me.)
- sow's ear
- Peking duck
- duck tongue
- donkey meat (the entree was advertised as "Griddled Ass")
- "stinky tofu"
|Just some of the tea-related|
paraphernalia I bought in Suzhou.
- hotel rooms come with a hot water kettle and tea bags (not a nasty, coffee-tasting coffee maker)
- entire gardens are devoted to tea
- even small supermarkets offer a wide array of loose, bagged, and instant teas
- milk tea can be ordered with tapioca-pearl "bubbles"
- hot tea is served with nearly every meal
|Our room in Suzhou came ready for tea.|
|Much fancier tea service at|
our Beijing hotel.
|An enchanting tea garden!|
Words I Learned Either to Read or to Say (But Not to Write) in Chinese
|"Tea" again! I can read!|
- "I don't want [it]"
- "I don't know"
- "See you later!"
- "How are you?"
Forms of Transportation We Used During Our Trip
|See the boats?|
- gondola (both motor-powered and hand-rowed)
- bullet train (the same day and the same line as the July 22 crash)
- personal car
- cable car
- ski lift
Miscellaneous Things I Loved about China
- inexpensive, delicious food
- family-style meals
- readily-available public transportation
- not freezing from overly air-conditioned buildings
- cheap, high-quality fountain pens
- melon-flavored candy
- over-crowded buses and subways (especially in Beijing)
- having to brush my teeth with bottled water
Genuinely Beautiful Sights
|One of Suzhou's smaller gardens|
|Tiger Hill, one of the most famous sites in Suzhou and UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|We had a beautifully clear view of the mountains |
surrounding the Great Wall at MuTienYu.
People I Came to Know and Love
- Dennis, Agnes, Erin, and Sarah
- Ken, Jean, Elaine, and Grant
- Jon, Shelley, and Janae
- Jody and Amanda
- the teachers in our two-week workshop
Questions I Have Not Answered
- What does it mean to be a "foreigner"?
- What is the best way to learn Chinese?
- Have I grown too complacent in the familiar communities and relationships that are home to me?
- Does the idea of a settled home ever become an idol for me?