Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fishing for dinner...

Wednesday was another pristine day here in Xiamen. Tina and I slept in a little, then ran errands. We went to Trustmart, a big department store where you can buy anything you can think of: groceries, jewelry, china, silk flowers, and over-the-counter drugs which I think might not be "over-the-counter" back home.

Lunch was one of the best meals yet. Tina and I ate at a little Chinese restaurant around the corner and shared a spicy pork dish with noodles and dumplings. It's funny that the Chinese are so thin because I feel like I've been "carb loading" the last couple of days. Tina and I think it's the portion size; meals seem to be served family-style with a large platter for the table to share and the tiny plates or bowls to eat out of. Even if you have beer, you get a little shot-sized glass to drink it out of. It's a nice way to eat, and although you get full after a meal here, it's never the painful unbutton-you-pants-full you feel back home.


After lunch, Tina and I met up with Siew and her two boys and took the ferry to Gu Lang Yu, a little island off of Xiamen. It's an amazing place with victorian-style architecture and large broken down estates from the 1800s. Many of the consulate generals lived on the island with their families, so it has a European feel. Motorized cars are also forbidden - it's quite and peaceful once you get out of the tourist market zone. We shopped for a while and paid a visit to Tina's pearl dealer, Lina, at Pearl World. Siew, Tina and I spent a lot of time trying on jewelry until the boys were ready to move on. Siew then left with the kids, and Tina and I went tea-tasting. That was one of the highlights of the afternoon since we got to sit down and try all the different teas. Oolong tea was the best.
Pearl World

The rest of the afternoon we spent walking the island. We stopped to watch the sunset and share a tsing-tao.

After returning from Gu Lang Yu, we met up with Mark and took Siew's two boys, Ben and Daniel, to a shrimping restaurant. The place had large pools in the center of the restaurant where you fish for your shrimp, then the kitchen cooks up the shrimp any way you want it: garlic, lemon, fried, BBQ'd... I think there are about 13 different options. It was fun although none of us could catch anything except Siew's 7 year old son, Ben. He was much more patient than the rest of us and caught 4! Luckily the restaurant took pity on us and threw in a few extra shrimp so we wouldn't go hungry. Dinner was a blast because Ben and Daniel are so cute and fun to be around. They acted as our translators with the waitstaff since both boys speak perfect English and Chinese.
Fishing for dinner...
Ben and Daniel with Ben's catch

Tina, Mark and I ended the night at My Way, a little Chinese-owned pub that's got an Irish feel. I loved this place so much last year that I made the Wichmann's take me back. Good times...
My Way

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