InTime Fashion Show

Being the only foreigner photographer has it’s advantages. First, I am taller than the Asians, so I often just shoot over their heads. Second, being a tall foreigner, the models gaze is naturally attracted to me as I stand out. Hence, my ratio of “models eyes looking into the camera” is really high.

These shots are from the InTime Wedding Show. As the weather is finally nice again (i.e. not 35′ C) the wedding season is going to start going nuts.

Unrelated note, why do the Chinese have this fear of planning holidays in advance? In Canada I KNOW when National Day (Canada Day) is. It is the same day every year, and the stat holiday is planned a year in advance. Here, no one can plan more than a week in advance. Drives me nuts some days…

Western Food in the East

24 eggs, 3 litres of White Vinegar, 1/2 a pack of cloves, 1/4 of whole black pepper and you have pickled eggs. Now to see if I can wait a few weeks before eating them…

So what is one to do when confronted with a lack of dining options that one has become accustomed to by 28 years of consumption? One takes small steps into cooking.

While I did take 3 years of cooking classes 11 years ago, much of that knowledge has escaped me. I figure with 6 months left here and my bank account showing a healthy balance, I might as well start to dabble in the culinary arts perfected by my recent visitors.

It started innocently enough. I was hungry, but I was tired of noodles and rice. I wanted something different. Something hard to find here.

I wanted a sandwich.

You would think that something as simple as a sandwich would surely be easy to acquire. After all, the ingredients are basis of it is on the quick and easy side. The reality is that honest, unsweetened bread is not easy to come by. Bread here is code for sponge cake as far as I can tell. I have tried many versions of “bread”: Mexico bread, California bread, Russian bread, and some that didn’t have any English on them.

At last, one fateful day while my stomach was itching for something different, I found it. Whole wheat bread. It didn’t look much like the whole grain that I am used to seeing in Canada. However it didn’t look sweet, A key thing when making the consummate delicatessen delight.

I got it home, along with my other fresh ingredients attained mostly from the “import” shelf from the most unholy of shopping marts. (Walmart and I don’t get along at the best of times)

I made it home, barely containing my trepidation for what was surely to be yet another let down in the attainment of western cuisine. I gingerly open my purchase like a kid at Christmas. I let my olfactory sense take first stab. No hint of sweet yet. I take a small bite. Hallelujah! Regular bread. My heart cries with joy.

My mouth does somersaults and my stomach swims in joy as I consume what is probably the best B.L.T that has ever been prepared on this side of the International Date Line.

Visitors – a fleeting bit of joy

Hot Pot. Think of Fondu. This caused some major cases of fire-ass.
In the boat, chimping pictures.
West Lake and the Hangzhou city sky line.

Well, Danielle and Brian have come and gone. For a week, we ate, drank and experienced China in a way that only we could. My very limited Chinese managed to get us through most situations. It was interesting walking around with Danielle and her attention-getting full arm tattoo. Literally everywhere we went, people would stare. Some would take pictures. Many jokes were made about Danielle and Brian getting mistaken for Angelina and Brad, coming to China to pick out another baby for adoption.

They left today for Xian. Already my apartment feels empty and I miss having people who speak English to talk to. My hours are all at night, so I don’t have time to go out and meet people as I am at home when they are working and working when they are free. There is also the fact that in my town, there is about 1% of the population who can actually speak enough English to carry on a decent conversation.

Why am I still here? That is a question that I have been asking myself lately…

Six months down. Six to go.