China: Snapshots from Bin Zhou

Small breakfast at the hotel in Bin Zhou

Hope everyone is staying cool in this ridiculous weather. After running around five different neighborhoods by bus, foot, and cab on Friday – what was one of the hottest days (104F!) in history, my goal is to avoid the heat. And to cut down on the air conditioning bill at home I’ve been working from Argo Tea on University Place this weekend. It’s so cold inside there that I have to bring a sweater hah.

I’ve been back in NYC for over a month since our China holiday, and I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll just won’t be able to post everything I would like before our next vacation. Instead I’ll settle for highlights from the different cities. Today we have snapshots from Bin Zhou, a city in Shandong province.

Hot pot around a lazy susan. Everyone had their own mini pot!

More than enough food to go around. After we had all the food that required cooking in the hot pot, we were served beef “sashimi.” Paper thin (see-through thin!) slices of beef served in a deep bowl made of ice. They say you have to finish on the cold raw beef to cool the body.

Stopping in for a cup of tea in the afternoon.

Eating pork floss buns in the car with my sister.

More tea, this time at the office. So elaborate!

Instead of rice, bread and noodles are the main form of starch in Bin Zhou. One of the appetizers served at our first dinner here was this steamed loaf of bread. It came with preserved tofu on the right, a creamy fish paste on the left, and in the center, steamed salty pork and eggs. You’re supposed to smear the paste and tofu on the bread and top with the pork and eggs. Addictive!