Saturday, October 4, 2008

Last couple days in Qinghai

Back safe in Beijing.  I think I visited at least 6 different outdoor markets in Xining, and must have eaten almost all of the fresh kinds of foods they had.  The breads are the most exciting:  fried, baked, grilled, steamed, sweet, salty, spicy, wheat, corn, barley; unlimited options.  

I cooked dinner for Matt and Emily last night, which was awesome.  I got fresh noodles, and exciting types of mushrooms (really cheap here) and made a delicious mushroom yogurt pasta.  I also made stewed Asian pears.  I got the cinnamon from a stall in one of the markets.  She didn't have the powder, but she ground the sticks up before my eyes.  It was pretty cool.  I also made chocolate chip cookies in Emily's toaster oven.  It only went to 250 degrees, and we had to use a really little coffee pot to bake them in, but they were pretty wonderful.  Made with yak butter too.  

I also got my haircut yesterday in a market shop for 15 yuan (2 dollars).  It was pretty exciting, because I couldn't for the life of me communicate what I wanted.  Luckily they had photos.  In the middle, I think they tried to sell me something and they kept saying the same thing over and over and I kept saying I didn't understand, so they'd say it again, slower like I was just dumb or something.  It was a little annoying, but eventually they gave up and just finished cutting my hair.  

It was a great vacation week, and I liked seeing one of the less-visited, less-talked-about parts of China.  I'm glad to be back at Tsinghua, and have a day to take it easy before classes start again.  Wooo laundry. . .

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