You Know You’re in China When…

After lunch, your hosts break out the scale and the tape measure to take your height and weight. Then, using a handy-dandy swivel card, calculates your BMI. The results becomes an after-lunch conversation subject.  (This was mostly for Jacob.  They gave me a break due to pregnancy.)

And you know you’ve been in China a long time when this doesn’t seem at all strange or surprising to you.

I should also share with you the details of this lunch. An older (and very sweet, adorable) couple in our apartment complex has really been reaching out to us and wanting to be friends. I think it mostly started because they like our dog. Anyway, they invited us over for Saturday lunch, and when we arrived the table was set with a feast, the key components of which were dumplings stuffed with a green vegetable, shrimp, pork, and egg, beef cartilage, thousand-year-old duck eggs, battered/deep-fried shrimp shells and heads (the meat had been used in the dumplings), tomatoes with sugar, cucumbers/garlic/vinegar, and boiled soybeans.

The aforementioned eggs; picture from Wikipedia.

I was encouraged to especially eat a lot of the shrimp shells. They are supposedly very good for my baby’s bone development.

I personally think I should get extra points for eating meals like this as a pregnant westerner.

Seriously, though, they are dear, dear people. We’re going to have them over soon for Western food. Not many Chinese villagers of their generation are keen to try new foods, but they are super-excited about it. This is the same couple who I taught to bake Western-style bread. We’re thankful for their friendship and willingness to reach out to us and befriend “the crazy foreigners.”  They are a blessing to us, and we hope we are to them, too!

6 thoughts on “You Know You’re in China When…

  1. I LOVE thousand-year-eggs in congee (with pork). It's really good, I promise. If you ever go to Hong Kong (or a good Chinatown back in the States), you should try it. I cannot imagine eating it plain, though.

    You are a brave woman. I'll pray for you.


  2. As a Hong Konger, I even think you are a brave (gracious and polite) woman … pregnant or not!
    Cannot wait to hear about your menu when you host them for a western lunch!
    Love & Blessings,


  3. I love hearing about yall befriending a neighbor! Relationship is what it's all about!
    Some of the menu sounds really yummy! (Some not so much, but anyway.)
    Your pup pup is adorable! Like irresistible adorable! No wonder she gets so much love!
    Just wait til baby “jacobandcarrie” gets here! I'm sure he won't be spoiled at all!
    (Like the way I threw that “he” in there? That's my official guess! 😉


  4. I'm sorry my friend, a zillion points to you but I could NOT hack it. Those eggs are green. wow!
    Good for baby's development? shrimp heads? (shudder)
    I guess it's all what you're accustomed to. What is in store for this baby of yours? What interesting concoctions will he or she be feasing on?
    But thank you God for friends reaching out. please bless this budding friendship!


  5. definitely get extra points for the duck eggs. They sure do look a thousand years old!!

    How fun for you to be forging this friendship. What do you think you'll cook them?


  6. When we went on a hutong tour, the lady making lunch brought in tomatoes & proceed to spoon sugar on them. I thought it was salt, and I just knew they were going to be inedible. I'd never had sugar on tomatoes before, but I thought it was pretty good.


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