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,
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