17 December 2014

Our Weekend (in China)

This past Saturday morning, we had every intention of getting to DongMen early enough that it wouldn't be too crowded, but the bus took longer than we expected and we didn't arrive till about 10:30.

We had a few things on our list to buy, and our first stop was at "MiniSo", a home goods/beauty/everything sort of store which reminds me of a nice dollar store. Just about everything in the store is $5 or else, and it's always fun to see what they have. Last time we went I bought a mint plant which is coming along quite nicely, this time, Angel got some cologne.

Dong Men Shopping Streets, ShenZhen

Then we wandered till we found Angel's favorite candy store. We feel like we're getting to know the layout of the DongMen shopping area fairly well, but it still feels pretty easy to get lost. We headed down a few other streets that didn't look familiar, and Angel, who was hungry because he didn't eat breakfast, stopped to get some snacks.

The first snack of the day was a rou jia mo, which in this case, was a sandwich containing pork and lettuce. Angel says it was the best rou jia mo he's ever had. I tried it, but I prefer the beef rou jia mo sold at a little Halal restaurant near our apartment. I'm not a big fan of pork.

Rou Jia Mo

He also got these two meat sticks. They looked really spicy, so I did not partake, but Angel ate both sticks on his own and then decided that he doesn't want to eat such spicy meat anymore.

We stopped by the movie store before heading back on the subway and picked up the 3 original Indiana Jones movies, because Angel's been wanting to see them ever since watching some men cracking whips at the town square the other day.

We returned back to our "home" stop on the metro and stopped to get a bubble tea (for Angel) and lemon tea (for me). Man, we sure got a lot of snacks on this day!

I'd only noticed recently that this little river we cross to get home from the metro had a stepping-stone crossing as an alternate route to crossing via the bridge that cars use, and I thought it looked way more exciting to cross the river via stepping stones, so we tried it out for the first time!

Before returning home, we stopped by Walmart for a few groceries, and, among other things, trash bags. These bags don't look really "hefty", do they? We just have one tiny trashcan, and take out the trash every day--it's a good system, because trash seems to attract cockroaches.

And Sprite. I'm a snob now, I won't buy pop unless it comes with something free. Often it'll come with a free water bottle. Sometimes it's a little plastic bowl. Today, two free packs of tissues, score!

We made ourselves dinner, watched some Indiana Jones, and then Angel read his eBook "The Psychology and Spirituality of Overeating and Obesity" while I did mysterious things on the internet.

Sunday morning involved church (Where we sang "We Three Kings" and "Angels We Have Heard on High" in Mandarin), a lunch of tacos, and a short nap before Angel's three students came over for their English class.

Post-English class was a much anticipated event--playing with remote control boats at the park! The week before, one of Angel's students, who has an inexplicable love for me given that Angel is her teacher, gave me a model boat, and we spent an hour on that day putting our boats together, which was a bit of a challenge given that I've never put a model boat together, and the instructions were in Chinese.

We had to wait for the glue on the boats to dry, so this Sunday, we took them out to the park for a spin around the lake. She felt Angel and I needed a lot of instructions because we'd never played with remote control boats before, so she carefully told me not to sail my boat too far away, lest it go out of range, and not to let the boys (her classmates) take the boat, because they would run away with it.

That was our weekend. Meat on a stick, boats, a fun river-crossing, Christmas hymns, and Indiana Jones. What more could I ask for?


  1. That's quite the weekend!! I wish free stuff came with pop here in the States! I've got to imagine how cool it sounds singing Christmas carols in a totally different language, way cool.

  2. You ate your way through China for sure (or Angel did)! Sounds like a fun weekend :)

  3. Sounds like the perfect weekend! All I'd ask for is something baked or a delicious dairy product, like ice cream ;) Glad you are connecting with folks around you and that you're adapting well! I don't eat much pork either so I'm with you on the halal boat or kosher as long as it's clean and no nonsense in my meat. :P Have a great one Rachel! -Iva

  4. I was totally with you on this weekend post! I really love the picture of you on the stepping stones from afar, that whole scene is just so beautiful.

    Oh and I would have NEVER guessed that shawarma was available in China....I also would have never thought of Walmart in China. I mean it makes sense, after all everything in Walmart COMES from China....but I just didn't think of it as a Chinese store.

    Another blog post, another enlightenment!

  5. Yummmm at the spicy meat sticks! I would totally try that :)
    It's pretty cool that your soda comes with free stuff!

  6. Goodness, y'all had a full weekend! Aren't those the best?! We had "meat sticks" in Rwanda but they weren't spicy. They were actually really good. Thought it was funny that universally they are just referred to as meat sticks.

  7. Oh man, sounds like a perfect weekend! Chinese street food sounds and looks yum! You could do a post on that maybe? I'd love love love to see/hear more about it! :D

  8. Those river stepping stones are so cool!

  9. Looks like a wonderful time! I think we are going to visit China in March! I I can't wait!
    Melanie @

  10. Sounds like a fun weekend! I really enjoyed the photos and reading about it!

  11. You guys seemed to have fun in China while immersing yourself in the Chinese culture. I would have loved to hear "Angels We Have Heard on High" sung in Mandarin.

  12. that rou jia mo looks delicious, and i could go for meat sticks any time :) also, that stepping stone bridge look so, so fun -- kinda reminds me of the lava game, but the real-life 'don't-fall-in-the-water' version:) oh, and congrats on learning your way to the candy store - very important!

  13. Looks like you had a great time! Food looks delicious.

  14. What a fun weekend! I love that all of the pop has free stuff with it, how hilarious. It's so fun to get out and explore like that in a new area. All that talk of delicious looking food is making me hungry!

  15. Funny book to be reading after all those snack :)!

  16. It looks like you had a really lovely weekend! I'll have to look up Christmas carols in Mandarin now...

  17. It's a great snack food country right!

  18. The stepping stones are so cool!

    I think you need to do a post about Chinese Walmart. I'm intrigued by what may be different and about this phenomenon of free items coming with soda.

  19. That stepping stone bridge is so fun! I'm glad you went on it. I would have too :)