Day 2 in the countryside, a bit of a struggle
Jan 28, 2008
|One thing to note here too that I forgot to put in yesterdays entry is that I found over here I often am referred to as "nikki's sister" or even by Nikki herself "my sister". Positions tend to be used more than names. But yesterday Nikki taught Tonys family at his uncles house my actual name and so they take great pride in using it now, especally during meal times when toasting or making be drink by saying ganbei.
Today was not going to be an easy day after the "celebrations" of the night before but I struggled through.
Lunch today was at Tonys grandparents place and Nikki Tony and I walked tere while his parents headed over on the scooter, and his brother was left at home to mind the shop (again). It was a good 10 - 15 minute walk through the countryside past some wheat fields to the area where they lived and as we got closer there were a lot of animals outside peoples houses (cows, chickens goats etc not dogs and cats)
we also walked past a flea market (Nikkis term, not sure what the chinese actually call them) set up in the street next to Tonys house which was again quite an eyeopener. There was fresh (almost dead) fish, meat, pigs heads and all sorts of yummy delicacies, along with standard flea market stuff of someone else trash is anothers treasure and pots and pans and of course fireworks (people need to stock up for spring festival)
Tonys grandparents place has a really nice sort of decorative gate and a beautiful painting in the fairly spacious courtyard. We went straight inside which as with the other homes we've been in is a thin long space made up of a few rooms, we went into the middle one which I think doubles as bedroom/dning room and lounge room.
Tonys grandparents (Maternal) are obviously very proud of their family and have heaps of photos which they then pointed out to me everyonein them (the chinese have lots of cousins aunts and uncles (fairly surprising considering the one child policy but they are mostly family friends I think)
:unch was again great but very hard for me to manage after last nights efforts. Nikki and I managed to swap my beer cup for a cup of tea so I escaped that ritual for a little while, but it became easier to just go with beer and try to have little sips than drink cold tea. I was feeling a bit better by then.
In between Lunch and dinner I introduced Nikki to a new reality show I'd heard about from the us called Crowned - The mother of all pagenats, about mother daughter pairs competing in a pageant, interesting to watch the relationships of mothers and daughters as well as inter teams.
For dinner we had hot pot which i quite enjoyed although the prosimity of people smoking to the large gas bottle running the burner in the room was a bit scary at times. Hot pot is a big pot full of falvoured broth or soup into whcih you add finely shaved pieces of meat, a bit like the curls they had at mongolian bbq in Brisbane. There was also some green cabbagey vegetable and some other ball things.
There was also a friend of Tonys dad at dinner who seemed to have a had quite a boozy lunch and hekept wanting to toast with me no matter how hard we tried to ignore him or jus sip it was always ganbei... I was able to slow it down though by using lemondae to water down my beer.
After a (kindof) quiet dinner it was back for some more crowned and then an early night.