Saturday, March 28, 2009

Beijing: markets, jiaozi, snack street

In the morning, Jill and I went to the Pearl and Silk Markets. The Pearl market was so much different that when I was here before. Before people were sitting on little stools with their stuff laid out on boxes and whatever they put together. This time it was over a hundred organized stalls with actual stands and displays. It was hard to choose which person to buy pearls from because they all basically had the same stuff. It was kind of fun haggling with the girl to get the price down. I also got snowboarding outfits for the kids a couple of scarves (but not as good as the one I lost), and a couple of souvenir Chinese outfits for the kids.
When Jill walked through the stalls it was seriously like a bad dream where people are coming at you and saying the same thing over and over, "Hello lady, you buy a scarf, hello lady, you buy underwear for you, you buy underwear for you husband, hello lady, best price, hello!" It was pretty funny for me but I wasn't the one getting attacked.

For lunch the university people took us to a jiaozi (dumpling) place. We had at least 10 different kinds. I love the chrysanthemum tea that some places serve here. We bought some to take home (but I am sure it won't be as good as when someone makes it for me). They serve cute sugar crystals with the tea.
New things at this meal:
Fennel dumplings
Chinese sour vegetabel dumplings
Woodears (mushrooms)
Potatos julienned and stir fried, still crispy, so tasty

At night we went to a shopping center and came across Beard Papa's cream puffs. I love those things. I have had them in Japan (where they started) and New York and now in China. I was just about excited as I dared to be in front of my in laws. Karl wasn't with us, he was meeting some law firm or something like that.
Karl met up with us and we went and walked down Snack Street. It was a lot of fun and a lot of gross food. I didn't eat any starfish, sea horses, scorpians, or bugs. I do have boundaries.
New stuff:
Tako Yaki- Grilled dough balls with a hunk of octopus in them. (These are Japanese so I have had them in Japan but I have never had them in China. They are better in Japan).
The veggies wrapped in a big crepe like thing (was ok).
The noodles, cucumbers, and beans with sauce (I have had those things before, but never this gross).
Roasted corn that had been roasting/drying for who knows how long. I was bummed because it looked so good.
Stinky tofu (I am pretty sure I never ever ever need to get within 3 feet of that stuff again).
Coconut juice straight from the coconut (once again, I really wanted it to taste better)
Hawthorn (like a tiny apple) stacked on a stick and candied. (I loved it)
So, out of all the stuff I had, I only loved one thing.

This sign has kept us entertained this whole trip (and probably will for a long time after...).
Another fashion trend that we have seen over and over:
Girls wear shorts (usually bubble style), tights, and then knee high boots.
The most elaborate of this that we have seen is shorts, tights, thigh high socks, then knee high boots.


Malea said...

I love the chrysanthemum tea! Have you had that tower of apples that they pour the carmel and sugar over? I miss everything. My aunt is going to China in October and wants me to go with. It's getting more and more tempting every time you post.

Michelle said...

Hello? Hello? Hello? I give you good price. Hello?

I LOOOVE Beard Papa's. MMmmmmm.

I love your China posts.

Lindsay said...

That sign is so funny. Your collages are awesome! Your posts are always so entertaining and fun to read. :)

Emily said...

Oh, Christina! I'm so glad you take pictures of food. I loved the "snack street" photos. . . although, I'm disappointed you didn't try fried scorpion. Yum!

amelia and crew said...

nothing is impossible? Maybe? I don't know.


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