Many of these companies run fun competitions and host events to bring the city’s food-lovers together, and this time Kate & Kimi has created a website feature called “What’s Cookin'” to highlight some of Shanghai’s food bloggers.
They chose me for one of their first blogger highlights, and I feel so honored. Below is the interview and link to their site. Even if you don’t live in Shanghai, it’s worth checking out. Enjoy!
Growing up in Florida, the word “winter” was never in my vocabulary. Pools were never covered, flip-flops were worn year-round, and the closest thing anyone had resembling a coat was a thin cotton hoodie. Life was good.
Then I moved to Seoul a few years ago and everything changed. Initially, I thought winter lasted a couple of months. I imagined wearing cute boots and petticoats, sticking my tongue out to catch snow flakes. I pictured myself making snow angels with my students. But then I quickly realized: winter sucks. It takes a solid 5-10 more minutes to get dressed in the morning, you can’t feel the snow when it hits your tongue, and making snow angels ruins your hair. As a Floridian, my idea of winter was shattered in about a week.
Fall has always been my favorite time of year. The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, boots and scarves are for sale. But now that I live in China, there’s another reason to look forward to the season: persimmons.
Starting a few weeks ago, the fruit began popping up all over the markets—showcased as the prized product by every vendor. They are being sold on street corners, in grocery stores. The woman I kindly refer to as “the fruit lady” behind my apartment complex has been shoving bags full of them into my hands, demanding that I buy them. I tell you, the Chinese have a certain charm.
When you’re a student, there’s nothing better than being told you’re going on a field trip. It doesn’t matter if it’s to the zoo, to the aquarium, or to a museum. Heck, I remember getting excited about going to the bank for math class. And I hate math.
During orientation at my new school in Shanghai, I learned that after just two months of teaching we would accompany one of the grade levels on a “China Trip.” Some would go to Inner Mongolia to learn about culture, some to a rural village in the mountains to build houses. And the seniors were going the beach for a week to learn how to surf.
I never expected to live in China. In fact, China wasn’t even on my radar when considering international teaching jobs. This wasn’t because of the long plane ride home (although that does suck), or the strange food and customs (let’s be honest, this is what intrigued me). My aversion was strictly environmental: I was scared to death of the pollution.
But, as I’ve learned during my time abroad, nothing is what it seems, and you really have no idea about the reality of a place until you actually live there.
Just two months into the school year and we got our first break: “Golden Week.”
According to the trusty Internet, I learned that the roots of this seven-day holiday go back to the Western Jin Dynasty (265 – 316 AD). Back then, it was a one-day celebration, and fell on whatever day the emperor was born, or took the throne. Nowadays, “National Day,” as it’s referred to in English, takes place every year on October 1st, and is a day to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China.Throughout the years, it’s been expanded to a week-long celebration, allowing residents to travel the country.
Eight months ago, I went on a ten-day trip to Shanghai, Xi’an, and Beijing with my friend Chris. We saw some of the world’s wonders, visited some of the world’s scariest bathrooms, and ate some of the world’s best food. Needless to say, America’s perception of Chinese food is somewhat muddled.