Tea. No Pun Attempted.

There is finally a picture of tea from China on this blog. Forget the number of likes and comments, I count this as a sign of success. It’s the simple things in life, right? Simplicitea…

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Below are my fellow interns/tea buddies. Left to right: Jonny, Konrad, and Fiona.
IMG_0682In other news, and there is a lot, I have had the pleasure of experiencing some of Chengdu’s specialties and I must say China is beautiful, or at least Sichuan is. Seldom is it sunny, and the humidity is enough to scare most people away. The food is a bit odd sometimes, and people do have a tendency of spitting wherever they please. You do have to squat to use public toilets, which means it is absolutely necessary to carry tissues everywhere, but all that aside (or perhaps included) this place is amazing and I have been meeting great people all along the way.

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Yesterday was my friend Alex’s birthday. In honor of that we went to downtown Chengdu (a 1 hour bus ride from my apartment that costs about $1.30) and celebrated with a Sichuan favorite: hotpot. It is appropriately named. This province is famous for its spicy foods. Ever had sezchuan chicken? Yeah…its name comes from Sichuan. To begin they bring out a dish that looks something like this, and set it on a live burner so that the base soups come to a boil in front of you. You’ll notice that two of the squares in the picture are red, and in them are floating Sichuan peppers and peppercorns. Most people here absolutely love spicy food (for example, when your mouth is numb and your lips are on fire then it is good), however I still request bu yao la, or I don’t want spicy. None, which is why there is another section that is whitish/yellow. Floating in it are nice, calm, not spicy mushrooms. Very friendly. The fourth section on the top left was supposed to look more like that but the broth from the red parts seeped into it. After those lovely vats have begun to boil they bring plate upon plate of meats and vegetables (the ones you request anyway) so you can add them to the mix where they cook. Then everyone shares from the pots. It’s a lovely way of having a meal, really.

Below from left to right: Jerry, Ann, Jesse, Me, Alex, and Emerson.

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Afterward we went to one of the many touristy/old-world parts of Chengdu and caught, wait for it -drum roll-….A SICHUAN OPERA. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it is a setting where performing arts have thrived for hundreds of years. Featured were tea masters, face changers (you have to see it to believe it), calligraphy artists, dancers, shadow puppet masters, and more. My friend Jerry had the right word for the show: magical. Not only is china beautiful, it’s enchanting.

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Until next time!

~A

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