Today I want to share with you my perspective of some of the good, the bad, and the weird aspects about living in China as a foreigner. I’m sure my perspective will change and adapt to be more like the locals eventually, but for now these are my observations. Let’s just jump right in shall we?!
1. One of the popular and casual morning greetings here translates to, “Have you eaten yet?”
2. The Chinese people like their drinks warm or hot. You’ll often get served warm water to drink at restaurants and ice cubes are a rare commodity.
3. Women use umbrellas to not only keep them from getting wet on rainy days, but to also block the sunlight on beautiful, sunny days. The whiter a woman is, the more beautiful!
4. The topic of weight is not a touchy subject, so don’t take any personal comments about your weight personally! People will openly say to their friend, “You look fat” or “If you lost some weight maybe he’d like you.”
5. It’s not rude to burp, spit, or slurp in front of people.
6. It’s an odd and humbling experience to feel like an infant trapped in an adult’s body. I literally can’t communicate to anyone about anything and therefore have to rely on others to get even the most simple tasks accomplished!
7. When you cross the street, just worry about crossing one lane at a time.
8. Infants and toddlers don’t wear diapers, but instead have large slits down the back of their pants showing their cute booty cheeks. This allows them to use the bathroom anywhere at anytime.
9. Western toilets are hard to find and you always want to take toilet paper with you wherever you go.
10. Barely any Chinese familes or apartments have ovens. They just don’t bake here.
11. Food and produce are very inexpensive. For example, a large bowl of noodles at a restaurant is usually around $1.50.
12. It’s very uncommon to have a shower curtain or door here. Instead the shower is just a shower head above a drain right next to the toilet. Everything, including the toilet seat (that is, if you have a Western toilet) gets wet when you shower.
13. Many of the younger aged infants and children are watched by their grandparents while the parents work or socialize. I very rarely see a young adult with a child, but instead their grandparents. When the grandparents get older, however, the children look after them.
14. It’s hard to find simple decorations or household appliances. Stencils, floral designs, bright colors, sparkles, and shine often grace the visible parts of paintings, doors, curtains and refrigerators.
15. Everybody watches out for everybody on the roads. Sometimes it seems chaotic, but at the same time I feel more safe riding a bike on the main road here than I did in America. Because there are no set traffic rule, everyone has to remain very alert and watch out for whatever is in front or to the sides of them. It’s such a rush!
I’m sure I’ll have many more observations and experiences to share with you all in the near future, but for now I have this Sauerkraut, Squash, and Beet Salad with Tahini Dressing to talk about! I was getting really into creative salads right before we moved. When Brett’s parents came and visited us in New York City I ordered a salad one day that had sauerkraut, pumpkin, avocado, and pumpkin seeds on it, and my love for that pickled cabbage was reborn. I decided to recreate that salad back at home using acorn squash and with a few extra additions. (If you’re confused about the lack of avocado and pumpkin seeds in the picture, I just forgot to add them for the photo shoot!) Any type of squash would work well though!
And of course, tahini will always be my favorite ingredients to add to salad dressings. It’s just so delicious, rich and creamy, and I’ve yet to add it to a salad where it didn’t work. My go to recipe for Lemon Tahini Dressing is 1 tablespoon of tahini + juice of 1/2 lemon + water to thin. It’s quick, simple, and easy to double the amount for when Brett wants to join in.
I hope Sauerkraut, Squash, and Beet Salad with Tahini Dressing inspires you to add some new toppings to your next salad! I’d also love to know if you’ve ever been to China or traveled overseas! What have been your observations/experiences. Let me know!
- Enough greens for four people
- 1 acorn squash, sliced
- 4 small beets, peeled and quartered
- 1 carrot, peeled length-wise into strips
- 1 avocado, cubed
- ½ cup sauerkraut
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup tahini
- juice of 2 lemons
- water to thin
- Preheat your oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Carefully cut the acorn squash into crescent shape pieces and place them, along with the quartered beets, onto the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a fork can easily be inserted into the center of the veggies. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- While the veggies are roasting, prepare your carrot, avocado and salad dressing. To make the dressing simple mix the tahini and lemon juice together until smooth and then add in enough water to reach your desired consistency.
- Assemble the salads by evenly distributing the ingredients on top of the greens and drizzling with the Lemon Tahini Dressing.