What would you do if you came back from a trip and your apartment complex security guard (the cutest old man ever, by the way), had a huge, ugly black eye?
Well, this is exactly what Brett and I came home to after our weekend in Hong Kong and it was such a sad sight. This security guard just recently started working in our complex, so we hadn’t gotten to know him very well (and by that I mean say hello in our broken Chinese whenever we come and go from our house). It was hard to not stop and attempt a conversation with him after seeing how red and watery the inside of his eye was and how a huge ring around his eye was red and blue. I still can’t get over his face. His kind, droopy eyes and his big, white smile that seemed to let off a hint of embarrassment over his appearance.
Since Brett and I are still learning what is culturally appropriate to do and say in certain situations, we just decided to do what we felt would show compassion and sympathy. So we ended up asking if he was okay. He then went on to tell us the story of what happened, which was that another security guard punched him in the face because he had forgotten to close the back gate (this is all what we gathered from our limited Chinese).
Ah, my heart broke! Never would that fly in America and I just wanted to give this sweet, old man the biggest hug. We told him that we hoped his eye would heal quickly and also said that we think it would be good to put ice on his eye to help it get better. (Telling friends what to do to stay healthy is a good thing here.) He told us that Chinese people don’t do that and we just said, “Oh, well that must be an American thing!”
The neat thing that came from this conversation is that, the next time I saw him his eye looked so much better and he told me that he had put ice on his eye and that it helped a lot! He said, “You look out for me, but I don’t look out for you.” Thankfully my friend who speaks his dialect better was able to help us communicate and said, “Oh no! You definitely look out for us too!” Now whenever I enter our complex and he’s on guard he tells me to sit down and offers me a cigarette, which I politely decline. It’s like we have this little bond now, which is so precious.
Now if only I knew what he was saying half the time!
This is just a glimpse into some of the things we hear and see happening in our city. In countless ways, life here is so different than America, but it’s really cool to be able to encourage people going through hard times and offer advise that works in our culture. This whole situation also encouraged me to continue persevering through language so that, one day soon, I’ll be able to have full conversations with the people around me!
Welp, how do I jump from black eyes to this Classic Vegan Potato Salad?! Maybe you could freeze this potato salad and use it to ice your injury?!
Okay, that’s a stretch. But I couldn’t be more excited about this recipe! I grew up LOVING potato salad and my Mom’s potato salad that she would make during the summer and on holidays like Mother’s day and the 4th of July was always my favorite. Going back for seconds was always a must. Since we’re hoping to celebrate the 4th of July here with some of our friends, I wanted to “veganize” some of my favorite summer holiday foods (like S’mores!) so that I could share them with everyone. This potato salad reminds me so much of the potato salad I grew up eating. The cashews make it so creamy and the vinegar and mustard add the perfect amount of zest. And of course you have to add celery for that crunch factor!
I really hope you give this recipe a try this summer. It’s simple to make and I know everyone will love it! If you give it a try, let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or even better, take a picture and tag #theconscientiouseater on Instagram so I can see your creation!
- 6 medium white potatoes (2.5-3 lbs.), cut into 1 inch cubes*
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 large celery stalks, diced
- 6 green onions, diced
- CREAMY SAUCE:
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours and drained
- 6 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1½ tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- freshly ground black pepper
- Place the cut potatoes in a large pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes or potatoes can be pierced with a fork. Drain and let cool until just able to handle.
- Once cooled, place the diced potatoes into a large bowl and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of white vinegar and stir. Allow the potatoes to cool about 15 more minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooling, place all the sauce ingredients into a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add the chopped celery and green onion to the potatoes and pour the sauce over the potatoes and stir everything until combined.
- Add more freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.
- Place in the fridge to cool and serve once completely cooled.
- Cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.