Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nom nom nom!

A couple of weeks ago I went and visited my old host family, the Guan's. Even after I moved in with my new host family, I still kept in touch with my old. I usually called my old host mom and we both caught up on things that were going on in our lives at the moment. Things like "How have you been?/How's the new family?/are you adjusting well?". Going back to their home felt so natural....I went on the bus #33 that I always used to go on and when I entered the community, the security guards said "Wow! I haven't seen you in a very long time!!". It was funny that they remembered me ^_^ but I also told them that I had moved which is why they haven't seen me around.

Going back to the Guan's made me realize how things were when I first came to China. I started to feel different emotions and started thinking many thoughts, like: When I was here I felt like this/ I remember having a habbit of doing this...., you know? Things like that. It was at the Guan's house where I came to learn all the things about China, such as the new culture and lifestyle. Going back felt like my mind was being refreshed about how I felt at certain points of time within my first six months in China. The difference between the Guan and Lou family are that, moving in with the Guan's I moved in with no knowledge what so ever about Chinese culture so I had to adjust to it...therefore at that point in time I had no idea what to expect and most things came as a surprise to me, But after spending six months with them, when I moved into the Lou family everything felt normal because their lifestyle was the same with the Guan's lifestyle so adjusting to the second family seemed a lot more easier for me (only because I learnt everything that I needed to know first at the Guan's). 

I feel that my old host sister, Violet and I actually don't get along that well. I mean, yes we do get along but we never have things to talk about...I think the problem with that is because our interests and thoughts are different, as opposed to Shirley and I we are always talking about things and never run out of things to talk about because our interests and thoughts are the same.

The Guan family cooked many dishes for me that evening and it was all very good! This is probably the usual types of dishes that they serve for dinner, in addition to a bowl of rice! The difference when eating Chinese food and western food is quite diverse. In the U.S we usually either have our own plates and eat just from our own plates or eat family style, but in China it is usually served family style unless you go out to a small restuarant by yourself! In the U.S when meals are family-style, every dish has a serving spoon, and everyone has a plate to put their food on. In China, everyone just has one bowl of rice (no extra plate to put food on) and they don't put their food on a "serving plate" like we do, instead they just pick the food they want, bite by bite. At first, I thought this was quite strange and in a sense unsanitary because we would be using the chopsticks then also using them as our own serving spoons (kind of like double dipping!!). After a while I got used to it and it became a normal habbit to me. Another difference I noticed when eating food is that people here dont politely ask to "help put some food on their plate" or to "pass something over, please" instead, they just lean over, even if the dish they want is super far, they lean over and grab it. When I first came to China, at the Guan's we went out to a restaurant and then I politely asked my hostmother to pass over a dish when she said "Just lean over and get it by yourself!!" (In a nice tone of course!) but I was quite surprised when she said that...!

Anyhow...here are some of the dishes :)

Jiu Cai!


Meat and potatoes!

Egg and Tomato soup

onion and sausage

Catching up with the Guan family was very nice, I felt really comfortable in their house which is always a good thing. They also cooked a lot of dishes that night because I was coming over! Here are what some typical Chinese dishes look like! (Usually what most families have for dinner...In the South of China).