An apology letter to my parents:
Hey Mom and Dad,
So, I have a few confessions to make.
First of all, I want you to know that I was paying attention all the years I lived under your roof. You both raised me to be a hard-working, safe, and polite American and I’m so thankful for all the healthy rules you surrounded me with growing up. But things here in China are just so different from America and now that I’m living here, I gotta admit that I’ve been breaking some of our family rules. Quite often actually.
So I wanted to say I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for getting in a car with a random strangers in a foreign country. Taxis are just so cheap here it’s hard to pass up the almost-free-ride to Wal-Mart when I have a lot of things to buy.
I’m sorry for riding my bike without a helmet…with flip-flops on…while swerving in and out of traffic…at night. That’s just the way people get around.
I’m sorry for wearing shoes in the house. Don’t worry though. They’re called house shoes!
I’m sorry for hanging around people that burp, slurp, spit and fart in public and don’t care. While it’s not rude to do those things here, I promise I’ll still try not to pick up those habits!
I’m sorry I don’t tip our waiters when we go out to eat.
I’m sorry I forcefully use my elbows to push people out of my way when trying to get on a bus. There is no concept of “lines” here and everyone else is doing it back at me, so I don’t think it’s a big deal.
I’m sorry I used the word “toilet” instead of “restroom” when I’m asking for directions to the nearest bathroom. If I say “restroom” no one knows what I’m talking about.
I’m sorry that I sound like I have a temper every time I practice my Chinese. I’m really not mad. I’m just trying to learn my tones.
I’m sorry I pick food off people’s plates when we’re out to eat and that I also put my food onto their plates. They really like to share here.
So yeah, I’m sorry. I know living here in China is changing me, but rest assured that I’ll resort back to my culturally appropriate American rules whenever I’m back in the States.
I’m sure you can guess that that letter to my parents is a joke, but I think it’s funny how different American culture is from Chinese culture. So many things that we would consider rude in America are normal, everyday occurrences here in China. Even after a month or so of living here, I still catch myself pegging people as rude when they burp or slurp in a restaurant or forcefully push their way past me to get on the bus. But that’s just normal and acceptable here.
I’m not sure I’ll ever consider those things as normal either.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
But while we wait to find out, I’ll continue to share some awesome, plant-based recipes with you all. This Creamy Asian Peanut Coleslaw is everything you could wish for in a salad. It’s got crunch, juiciness, creaminess, protein, and the perfect balance of sweet and savory. The edamame beans and creamy peanut dressing make it hearty enough for an entree, but it could easily be served as a side dish as well.
I hope you can give this recipe a try!
- 6 cups Napa cabbage, chopped
- 1 bell pepper
- 2 large carrots, shredded
- 1 English cucumber, cut lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups cooked edamame beans
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, minced
- 2-3 green onions, sliced on the bias
- ½ cup peanut flour
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger
- 2 cups peeled and cubed zucchini
- Prepare all the ingredients for the salad and mix everything together in a large bowl.
- Place all of the dressing ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. This makes quite a bit of dressing so feel free to set some aside for later!
- Pour the dressing overtop of the coleslaw/salad and mix well. Serve immediately!
Store any excess dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.