And I like to think that I do interesting things when I travel and try to have interesting write ups as well.
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My aunt Linda didn’t have to work today so we went out to grab lunch together and to do some grocery shopping.
We ended up at a restaurant that served Shanghai cuisine and as you can see, she helped me out by getting me an English menu complete with pictures!
We started off with a couple of cold dishes. The first being a spicy salad of soy beans, preserved vegetables, and thinly sliced tofu and bamboo shoots. I’m not generally a fan of spicy foods, but in this dish the flavours between the red chili and sesame oil were nicely balanced.
The next dish we had was a cold jellyfish and shredded daikon salad. When I’ve had this at other restaurants, the jellyfish tends to be in thicker ribbons and daikon isn’t usually a part of the dish. However the daikon was a really nice addition because it was crisp and nicely complimented the chewy texture of the jellyfish.
A meal that encompasses Shanghai cuisine isn’t complete without the ubiquitous soup dumpling or “xiao long bao”. These little guys are one of my favourite types of dumplings despite their high level of consumption difficulty. You have to be extremely careful when lifting them out of the bamboo steamer baskets because if the skin rips, all the tasty meat juice inside spills out.
The trick is to use your chopsticks to gently grab the little nub of dough at the top of the dumpling and gentle wiggle it free of the paper lining the basket. Then you dip it slowly into a dish of vinegar and sliced ginger before eating.
I think that anyone who has had these dumplings before has also had the awful experience of hastily biting into one and having the juice explode everywhere. I tend to place the dumplings into my spoon (as shown in the picture) and then tentatively taking a bite from the top so that the majority of the soup stays inside of the dumpling instead of ending up all over my clothes. If you’re ever in a restaurant that serves Shanghai cuisine, I highly recommend that you try these!
And of course, I had to take a picture of the receipt just because our server’s name was Kitty. It’s a pretty typical “Chinese” name!
I actually went out and did something tonight despite being tired and jetlagged. I’ve been cooped up in my aunt’s apartment for 2 days so I’m beginning to feel a little stir crazy.
I met up with some of the friends I made in Hong Kong the last time I was here so it was really lovely to be able to chat and catch up with them. I also invited someone I met off of geoexpat.com which is the forum I used last summer to meet some new people. Thankfully he didn’t turn out to be a serial killer and all was well.
We ended up going to a restaurant called “Pancake Colours” for dinner. Our group speculated that the owner just pulled random words out of a hat in order to create a restaurant name. Either that, or he/she really enjoys colourful pancakes.
I remember coming to this place one before last year and marveling at the ridiculous decor. This picture doesn’t do it justice but the design and furniture in this store is a weird eclectic mix of gothic/victorian/modern/chrome.
For dinner, the 5 of us split the dinner set for 4 since my friend Brian wasn’t tgat hungry. The dinner set came with a bacon and egg pizza (lol breakfast pizza!), a Neapolitan pasta, short ribs with fries, and something called an “american platter”. Hilariously, the american platter consisted of mini hotdogs, deep fried chicken wings, and fries. I guess that can be considered a fairly accurate summary of American cuisine!
The food itself wasn’t anything spectacular but between the 5 of us, it was a filling and affordable meal. The only thing that confused me was my drink order. I ordered lemon water thinking that it would just be a glass of water with some sliced lemons in it, but it turned out to be this odd slightly syrupy sweet concoction. Not water at all.
It was really nice to be able to get out of the apartment for a bit and walk around. I’m feeling rather tired right now so I hope that I can have a restful sleep tonight!
Last night’s sleep stats:
Total amount of sleep: 6 hours
Length of sleep intervals: 3 hours each
Number of times randomly waking up: 1
Anxiety attacks: 1
Waking up with random anxiety attacks isn’t much fun. =(
So my flight into the future went well and no plane crashes were had. Airplanes are one of the few places where I can actually sit down and watch a movie by myself because I don’t really have any other choice of entertainment.
I ended up watching Hall Pass (which wasn’t very good or funny), a Korean movie called Glove, and part of The American. I can’t believe that I cried so much during Glove because it’s a baseball movie! But it was really well done and I am a sucker for sob stories.
So right now I’m just currently sitting in my aunt’s house watching TV and trying to stay awake for a bit longer before getting a good night’s rest. I’m feeling pretty dead right now so to make myself feel better, I made a funny face.
I think I need to do some stretching before I sleep too. My body is really sore/stiff from being on the plane for 15 hours!