… it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” -Anthony Bourdain
I’ve been on some wild “food rides” the past week as well as a couple of non-metaphorical ones. I was driven to a restaurant for a dinner. As with previous experiences as a car passenger, I had to cover my eyes more than once, out of fear. So take a look at the following series of photos and vicariously enjoy the food roller-coaster I’ve been on the past week.
On a sad note, Belle has returned to Sichuan Province, however, I’m not without company. Alex, one of the international teachers from the UK, is staying with me for a few days this week and then he’s off to London and will return at the end of September and stay with me for a few more days before heading off to Australia for the next chapter in his life. Also, Nancy and Sophie will be visiting me next month and we’ll be touring around China for about nine days or so. Add to all of this is that it appears that the, at times, almost intolerably hot, humid and dreadfully smoggy days of summer are behind us Beijingers. THAT is what I call “relief.” The view from my 10th floor apartment these days reveals a sky that is quite reminiscent of what I am familiar with back home: blue.
NOTE: The above was written on September 2. I can’t even recall what additional observations I wanted to write that may have been germane at the time. So I’ll simply post a slew of photos with a few comments. I am becoming less inclined to write at length about events in my life. I am amassing a backlog of information and photos, at the same time, rapidly losing interest in taking the time to write this blog. Once I get rid of the backlog, I probably won’t do any posting until Nancy and Sophie arrive at the end of October.
“Teambuilding” night when Winnie, my manager (center) took the teachers to a restaurant in the mall attached to our office that seems to specialize in Peking Duck. I wasn’t bowled over by the duck and as I’ve had it plenty of times but never felt like rhapsodizing about the dish, I began to think that I am simply not a huge fan of duck. Stay tuned for a posting that confirmed my suspicions.
Ross (from Montana) , the guy with the beard used the ledge of the cabinet behind him to open up bottles of beer that he brought in from the outside. We watched in bemused horror as he gouged large divots in the wood. Oddly, restaurant employees never seem to care if you bring in alcohol not purchased in the establishment.
Belle, my former “roommate.”
Driving to a dinner party, I got to see the craziness of Beijing traffic from the inside out, so to speak. This is the red light we were at when our driver did what all Beijing drivers appear to do when they need to turn around. Stopped at a red light, they simply drive though the light to make a U-turn. More than once, I close my eyes.
A handful of employees at our branch won a quarterly contest and we were feted with a lovely dinner complete with a retinue of performers. It felt as if we were at a wedding until the act that made it feel like I was at a Bar Mitzvah (see photo.)
Alex, Chris and my manager, Winnie. Chris (center) left EF some months back (but he still got to attend the dinner) Alex just left EF to move to Australia.
A magician came on stage. I turned to Alex and said: “I feel like I’m at a Bar Mitzvah.” Not 30 seconds later he pulls out a Star of David. It didn’t seem to have any use other than to confirm what I said. Having said that…”Funny, with the exception of yours truly, no one looked Jewish.”
Leaving the restaurant.