Having never been to Asia I was pretty skeptical of many things based on some pretty unfair generalizations, one of them was definitively getting a hair cut. However I was totally wrong on one of my BS generalizations again! There is a place located next to the April Gourmet that does a fine job for a very reasonable price (male cut 60 RMB). They start off giving you an amazing head massage to clean you up for the actual barber and then the process begins. Speaking very little Mandarin I was actually able to get a pretty descent cuts and would definitively come back again.
Last week we went to a DVD shop to pick up some movies, so we had something to watch on our down time while visiting Beijing. DVD shops are a dime a dozen in the city, you can literally walk down any relatively crowded street and you’ll see at least two them. The shops are very up to date in their selections and sell at a very reasonable in prices (10-15 rmb depending on the quality). Though these movies are copies, the quality of them are nearly exact to the originals. I strongly recommend finding one of these shops if your a big movie connoisseur or just enjoy an occasional flick….
This DVD shop is located in the central part of the Sanlitun Mall; in the alley right outside the nigh clubs!
Last week 4 of us got together after work and casually hung out… The evening started out with us relaxing on the 26 floor of a friend’s balcony with some Moroccan pastries and a bottle of French wine. I personally would have been completely content with not moving for the rest of the night, but the rest of the guys insisted on heading into town and purchasing a hookah.
Though the Middle Eastern culture is present in Beijing, most of them aren’t the ones selling the hookah. We spent about an hour trying to find a decent hookah for a fair price, making the point that in China you never should buy the first item you see…. because about 10-15 other vendors will be selling the exact same ones for different prices. After shopping around for a bit we finally made a move on one for about 180 rmb, which was bargain down from its original price of 430 rmb.
When we got back to the flat, our Moroccan friend prepared the hookah and some Middle Eastern food to snack on while we smoked the night away.
Sometimes you just need to get out of the city! Last week some friends and I went a couple of hours outside the city to go on a day hike. We packed a lunch and headed out on the 980 bus to a hike called Heilong Guan “The Black Dragon”. Legend has it that a black dragon was stuck between two boulders and was freed by striking the boulders with his claws, to slice them in half.
Making Chinese dumplings is fairly easy to do and doesn’t require too many ingredients. Chinese dumplings can be stored in the freezer and saved for a quick meal when you don’t feel like cooking. The preparation time for making Chinese dumplings can be a little demanding, that is why we recommend making 200 pieces each time. Dumplings are a great snack to have when you don’t have too much time to cook.
(This serving makes about 80-100 dumplings)
1. Ground Pork – 2 lbs or 1kg
2. Chinese Cabbage (Napa Cabbage): 1 lbs chopped into small pieces
3. Sesame Oil – 1 Tablespoon
4. Fresh Ginger – ¼ cup finely chopped
5. Salt – a few pinches
6. Pepper – a few pinches
7. Flour – 4 cups
8. Warm Water – 1 to 2 cups
Add the ground pork, sesame oil, salt, pepper and ginger into a large bowl and mix together for about 5 minutes. You will know you are finished mixing everything together because the consistency is distributed equally.
Add the Chinese cabbage and mix well.
In a large bowl, add the flour. Slowly add the water into the bowl, but make sure to mix as well. Knead the dough until it is ready.
Take a baseball size piece of dough in your hand. Flatten the dough and roll it into a long & thin strip. After the dough is quite thin, take a cup and press it into the dough creating palm size pieces.
Take one of the pieces and put a small spoonful of the pork mixture into center of the dough piece. Make sure to have a bowl of water next to you so that you can wet the tip of your finger. After you wet your finger, touch the edges of the dough and seal them together by folding the dough circle in half. Press the edges together to create a dumpling that is in the shape of a moon. Place the finished dumpling on a plate with flour sprinkled over it to keep it from sticking.
There are two ways to cook dumplings. You can either pan fry or boil them. If you boil them, it usually takes about 5-7 minutes to finish cooking. My favorite way is to pan fry them. You can pan fry them by adding some olive oil/vegetable oil and setting the heat to high. Cook the dumplings on each side until the skins are golden brown. It usually takes about 5-7 minutes to finish.
Enjoy your dumplings with Chinese vinegar and a little bit of chili!
We ended up at the Chaoyang Park Temple Fair with friends & a couple of interns from My China Opportunity, a few days ago. It was a festive and bone chilling occasion.
On this small adventure, I stumbled upon $50 feather dusters, boiled cow stomach, and a few other odd things.
Pretty much all of China takes a week off from work from the first day of Chinese New Years, until the last. Being an American foreigner in China is quite nice because we get to celebrate all holidays.
Holiday season starts with a week off in October, a few days off in November, Christmas, New Years, and a week off for Chinese New Years.