Tag Archives: Chinese food

Experiencing China

It has been now over six months since our last holiday in China. It was a great trip and we are already planning for next years holiday session in the Middle Empire. I have mentioned it countless of times that for so many years we never really managed it to go anywhere besides Xi’an. This year was different as we had that wonderful week in Japan (Tokyo, Thomas Land and Osaka) and we are kind of planning on having next year a week-long trip in Thailand. This is not set in stone especially when taking into consideration that we should have been already to Korea, Taiwan, Bali, the Maldives and so forth. Main problem was always that my wife turns into a complete couch potato once we arrive at her home in China.

Some temple somwhere in Sichuan

Anyhow even in case we won’t manage it to Thailand I am still looking forward to visiting China again. For one it is of course the food and I think I don’t need to touch that subject again as writing about it and sharing pictures makes too many people hungry. It is for me more like the whole experience in China. Even though I have seen so little so far it has been always such an interesting experience especially as each region or even parts of the city are so different. I have been mostly only to Xi’an but already there each section of the city has its own vibe. It goes as far as each “block” can be so different compared to the next one. For example the area where my in-laws are living looks to many people (like my parents) like a city shortly after an air raid while as the next block is a complete different matter as everything is relative clean and nice looking. However between those blocks the feeling is already different as in the older parts everywhere you have those wonderful street kitchens which are more rare or even non-existent in richer areas.

Music in the streets

It feels sometimes to surreal to drive on some roads passing by mountains which look like just from paintings. To have old temples and other historical buildings right next to some huge shopping centres. Just going a bit outside the cities you even encounter traditional clay brick buildings and even cave houses. Of course there are always downsides to the whole experience especially due to pollution or overcrowded tourist spots but it does not really bother me that much. For me each holiday in China is unique as even in Xi’an I find new interesting thing which each visit. For next year we have another novelty as we kind of have to decide where we want to stay: Either in MIL’s new apartment in the middle of nowhere or in the old one where FIL is staying right in the city center with all the best food around. Guess this decision is a no-brainer.

Do you have already plans for holidays in 2019?

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What my father saw in China

Back in 2016 we had a holiday in China and we had invited my father to join us. What I remember most from that trip is the incredible and annoying City Tour Extreme. As there was just so much to write about I split the adventure into four parts: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4. Besides that city tour we experienced the standard MIL madness/ the whole crazy family. Why am I writing about it now? Today I went through my dad’s camera and found the pictures he took last year. Okay that is until the battery was empty on Day 2 of the city tour and he had forgotten to take the proper charging cable with him.

Going to some temple in Xi’an

My father has a different viewpoint when it comes to taking pictures. First of all he is still used to the time before digital cameras swarmed the market so he barely takes more pictures than would fit on an old film (max 36 pictures depending on the film). Secondly he is not wasting as much times as me on taking pictures as he is not aiming for the perfect shot but to have just some “memory” of the trip. Besides those two points he did not take any pictures in Xi’an except from the city wall and from some temple. I think this is because he has been everywhere before back in 2011 so he did not deem those other places worthy of using any space on his SD-Card again in 2016.

The “Old Old city Wall” within/ under the “Old City Wall” in Xi’an

On our city tour extreme I am not sure who was more annoyed by all the misplanning. I mean I was really annoyed but my dad was really really annoyed, especially when our tour guide “The Howling Monkey” did not even let us sleep in the bus after waking up each morning way too early. He even took a picture of the tour guide in order to never forget that person again. He also got rather annoyed by MIL’s behaviour as it was first time he really witnessed all her crazy doings over the span of three weeks. In fact he is right now thinking how he can survive her again next year when we go to China as we will take my father with us once again!

The Howling Monkey in pink, one of my father’s Archenemies

What is really surprising me is that my father actually has still the energy to do such trips with us as he just turned 76 this year. Especially those long flights are hard on him besides trying each day new unknown food in China. Despite having sometimes really many problems in China back in 2016 he still agreed to come with us instantly after we asked him to join us. My mother on the other hand had the same reply as last time “No way I will ever go there again!”.

An ocean of flowers at the Slender West Lake in Yangzhou

Going through the pictures I wondered sometimes on how different they were compared to the ones I took. Sure I took a lot more than him but some places I did not recognize at all or had forgotten as I never captured them with my camera. At times it is really interesting to see how two people can have so very different pictures when visiting the same places. Next time I will make sure that he has his charging cable and I will try to motivate him to take more pictures.

Have you ever checked pictures of another person (friend, spouse, family member) after you went on the same trip somewhere?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

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My food is much Better

Dear Chinese mother-in-law is honoring us currently with her presence and thanks to that I have no shortage of stories to share with you. Originally I had something else planned for today but this blog is like a therapy for me and I really need to get this out. You have read it probably too often already but my MIL is certainly something else. She knows everything better than anyone else and she does everything better than anyone else, at least that is how she sees the world. The reality is very much different but she would never accept that.

Just look at this delicious food!

Before coming to Germany my wife gave her mother a little food shopping list. To be precise this shopping list was all about Liangpi 凉皮 the best noodle dish ever created. There are specialized restaurants in Xi’an which offer these noodles in a box to take away and mix the noodles and sauce yourself. You should consume the food within two weeks otherwise it might be not that good for you any longer but two weeks are more than enough. When we were last time in China we brought home 16 boxes for just the two of us. I think they didn’t even last a week and I don’t even feel bad about it as they are just too delicious. When MIL heard that she should buy them for us her first reaction was “They don’t taste at all, they are terrible, I don’t buy them!” (She has never tried them before). Her second reaction was “They are too heavy, I don’t buy them!” (She wanted to take more of her weird stuff with). However my wife insisted that MIL would get them and her third reaction was “My homemade ones are much better!”. In the end my wife won and MIL took at least a few boxes with to Germany.

And even more of that, I am so hungry now

Now coming back to “My homemade ones are much better” I have to say that her Liangpi ain’t bad.  They are actually pretty good as soon as you add some salt and spices (something she never does, she never uses salt for anything). But they are still no match for the takeaway Liangpi yet alone to the freshly made ones in certain restaurants. My mother-in-law believes that her food is so much better than in any restaurant. Last year she tried to proof that to me and my dad when we were in China by making Pizza for us. She had never made pizza before and had no clue what to add. She even tried to put in Durians and Bananas, thankfully my wife stopped her from that. I can’t remember the taste but I do know that my stomach was upset for the next two days.

Our kitchen looks a bit different now with MIL being here

MIL is preparing food for us now every day, same as she had done during the past visits over the years. While her noodle dishes are rather good, the other dishes are barely eatable. Whenever she made some dishes to be eaten with rice I prepared myself for the worst. The good thing is that my wife concvinced her mother to make noodle related dishes at least five times a week. No matter how much my wife complains about the cooking skills her mother still believes she is the best chef who has ever walked this (round) earth (MIL kind of believes that the earth is flat). In fact MIL does not even like most of the food she prepares but she won’t admit to it but we can clearly see it when she suddenly stops eating after one or two bites. Her explanation for that is usually that she doesn’t want to eat too much so that we have more, yeah right.

How are your cooking skills?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

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