Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 3rd: Chinese Tea and Chinese Checkers

Several of the other Americans at my university and I met up to go out for supper. Well, there was four of us American teachers, a British teacher, and one of the Russian exchange students, Oleg. We ended up going down to one of the fanciest hotels in town, just a short walk along the moat from our campus—on the ground floor is a restaurant; it was nearly empty when we arrived. They had some “western” food, but the steak and hamburgers and pizza were quite expensive, and besides we’re all still enjoying the Chinese food, so we just got rice pots. Mine was with pork and vegetables (mostly bell peppers, my favorite!), but a couple of the others tried the eel.

After we ate, a Chinese friend of Jason’s (he’s been here a semester already) came to join us. I don’t know her Chinese name, but in English she is called Spring. She took us down to the street just outside the west gate of the university where the students hang out. It was crowded with small shops, stalls selling various street food, bakeries, and KTV (karaoke) places. Roanne, the British girl, is obsessed with finding good bakeries, so we stopped at a few. Spring took us down a side street to a little tea house. Inside was quite dark; each booth had a high back, and was surrounded by a curtain of ivy vines. We squeezed into a booth, and Spring ordered us some Chinese tea—very thin, and a little bitter. We sipped tea and played Chinese checkers (yes, it’s called Chinese checkers for a reason—it’s quite popular here). It’s played just as I learned growing up, but Spring had some new rules to add that made it much more challenging and interesting.


Anonymous said...

I am anticipating learning on an actual Chinese checker board. I hope that you can find an interesting one. Maybe it can become a family tradition like marbles. I am looking forward to the next chance that we have to play board games again.
I hope that this also can be a good oppotunity to play a challenging game with some of your new friends.
Love You,
BW (missing the marbles)

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