Tianjin, The Return

大家好!

I have completed my trip in Tianjin with my friend Eddie Zhang who was one of the chefs at a job I had a few years ago. He was my favorite chef there and he’s always a hoot, and he hasn’t changed one bit. I got to meet his wife and daughter who were equally interesting and funny. His wife is smart and super sweet. I was almost embarrassed at the doting and worrying for me!

They were there at the station when I arrived and first took me to a fabulous restaurant with a spicy roasted fish dish that I couldn’t get enough of. I didn’t take a photo and I’m kicking myself for it now but man it was great. There was a problem though when we got to my hostel they said that they can’t take foreigners so I was quite annoyed that I wasn’t called ahead of time (which is the usual response). Nothing on C-Trip, the website I used to book, that would imply they cannot take foriegners, and that wasn’t the first place I booked. The first place was a nice hostel that had rave reviews, but C-Trip called me only 10 minutes after booking saying the hostel told them they cannot accept me.

This is due to some regulation. China and their government LOVE red tape, regulations, and rules. It’s quite exhausting sometimes. Anyway, this is not what I want to hear at 10 PM so then the owner and Eddy together looked online to find some places close to the train station. We ended up finding a simple, clean place but because it’s a hotel, not a hostel it’s a lot more expensive. But there is no use being too annoyed, at least I have private space rather than dorm space and it wasn’t SO bad, just 250 Yuan/night which is maybe around $35 and I stayed 2 nights.

They came to get me this morning and we walked along the river to get to the ancient culture street. I love that place and while I was there before, it’s nice to go again in warmer weather.

We did a lot of walking and seeing things and also caught up a bit as it’s been 4 years since I’ve seen my friend and so it was pretty cool. I got a lot of good practice too! I saw some of the same places as last time, including this mysterious “House of Nathan”.. we all still don’t know, WHO IS NATHAN?!

Later on, we went back to their house so I could meet her parents and Eddy’s niece. Their daughter was also there, of course so I just hung out and chatted as they all cooked. Mostly the grandmom was cooking but they all helped. We all made dumplings together and everyone got a good laugh at my terrible, ugly dumplings. I don’t mind, they’re pretty bad so I was laughing, too.

When finished we all sat together and chowed on what to me, felt like a feast but I was told it was a typical meal. I wouldn’t mind eating this every day, it was great! I especially liked the vegetable and shrimp dumplings.

After dinner they cleaned up and were nice enough to see me back as they wouldn’t find it acceptable to for me to go alone or taxi. Too kind, indeed. The walk was cool and pleasant with the city all lit up it was quite pretty and interesting and I kind of wish I was studying here instead but then I’m quickly reminded that staying in cheap place like Anshan allows me to travel more.

With our hugs and good-byes taken care of, I returned to my room to prepare for the next leg of my trip which is tomorrow morning at 6:55, I will depart for Beijing and see Monica! The following day will be my Great Wall trip so I’ll have some good stuff for you I’m sure.

So until then,

再见,

Laowai Shye

~~~~~

So yeah.. While not an exact translation, I’m writing a Chinese entry, too for my friend in Anshan who might check in my blog while I’m gone and he doesn’t speak any English other than some words. 不用太着急改错!! 哈哈

我跟我的老朋友好久不见!我四年以前左右在四川饭馆工作过。 那夏天我每星期六天工作所以那地方的人的关系很近。好像工作家庭!我的最爱的厨师是张师傅,我也用他的英语的名字,Eddy。我觉得张师傅的性格很好。他又可气又幽默,每天说话好笑的话,让我笑了。

所以他告诉我他回天津来看家庭,我很高兴。幸亏我已经打算去北京所以我改变打算,火车票所以北京以前能看他的家庭。到了天津他们不停帮我,不停爱护我。有的时候他们的着急让我很不好意思。我希望他们来加拿大看我所以我能当他们的导游,做一样的。我来的时候他们在火车站找我。他们带我去饭馆吃非常好吃的鱼和别的东西。吃完了以后,他们送我去我的年轻宿舍可是到了的时,服务员说那个地放受不了外国人。我问他,“为什么现在才来告诉我吗?” 他不知道因为他不是整理管。他很不好意思的,所以跟张师傅帮我别的地方。我们找到了合适的地方。这个旅馆又干净又离火车站很近。贵是贵一点儿,可是我没办法。

今天早上他们再找我了。我们先走一走去古文化街。当然我上次来天津已经去过可是我非常喜欢所以我想再去。我看看东西就发现很有意思的做饼的东西。不知道什么叫它。。 就是做月饼的木品。是手做的品,所以我觉得很特别。我也没看过这样的东西因此我买了。有一点贵可是他收到了便宜一点儿。

后来我们走去五大道和别的欧洲建筑的地方。那个地方都让我有费城的感觉所以我喜欢。他们马上累死了所以因为我们几个小时走。我们会他们的家去。他们的家做饭,我们一起包饺子。他们对我的饺子笑了很多因为他们真的很丑。我不是不好意思,他们说对的,哈哈。 我应该练习包饺子,能报的更漂亮。他们做了别的菜,都真的非常好吃。他们都是好的主持人所以不停给我菜。我真撑死了!!

吃完了以后张师傅和妻子都送我去我的旅馆。明天很早坐火车去北京所以不会再看他们。
我真的会很想念他们,希望在见面!

再见,

老外 Shye

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