For a place that doesn't celebrate Christmas, we sure have been to a lot of officially sponsored Christmas parties. It is a very nice gesture to make us feel more welcome here (or is it "any excuse for a party"?)
On Tuesday night, we traveled to the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse for dinner with the president of the university and some other officials from the Foreign Ministry. After a whopping ten course dinner, I didn't think I would eat for a week after. The menu included Pan Fried Goose Liver in Bean Curd, Quick Broiled Fresh Fish and Sour Cucumber, Stewed Ox Shank in Casserole and Almond in Coconut Juice. Yum.
But then the next night, we had a dinner and program with the government officials who are on campus for a refresher English course. Of course, I had to be polite and eat there, too. The menu there was not disclosed, but included some orange crispy things piled high on a gooshy thing, carmelized sugar french fries, some kind of fish, soups, salty greens and a variety of fruit, much of which I did not recognize.
Will my stomach ever be the same?