The After – Food

I’m back! My month in China is over and my uni responsibilities start to slowly creep up on me…

I’m excited to share my experiences with you. I decided to split up my “after” article and not make one extra long post. If you are not interested in these articles, you can just ignore everything titled “The After”! In case you didn’t read The Before, I included the concerns I wrote before the trip!

 

1. Food

I’m a picky eater. I would be ok with rice and vegetables for dinner but I’m sure that my mother-in-law and everyone else want to treat me and give me lots of food to try. I want to try different foods but not too exotic. Can I say no? Will they think I’m rude?

I think that Chinese people take hospitality seriously (like Russians). Even if you decline a second portion, they will ask 10 more times and talk you into it. So you end up eating way too much until you burst if you move. I always hated this pressure with food. I’m also a polite person so I find it difficult to say no to my host. I eat especially little when I am nervous or feel uncomfortable (for example during a culture shock). So hopefully I can be resistent and kindly say no.

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Filet?? Never heard of that…

Well, food was really not an easy topic and got actually quite annoying after a while… In the first week I tried every food but I soon figured out what I like and what I should rather not try again. People always told me to try this and that but I was not scared to decline. At some point I was just tired of trying new things. After about a week of eating Chinese food 24/7 I got so tired of it. I loved everything my mother-in-law cooked but I had no appetite.The family was very understanding and said that they also wouldn’t want to eat German food 24/7 if they would come to Germany.

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Sharing food

So there was a day where I ate KFC for breakfast and McDonald’s for lunch and dinner… I thought that McDonald’s and KFC taste the same everywhere in the world but boy was I wrong! The fries were not crispy and barely salted, the ketchup is less sweet and the cheeseburger is disgusting (I think they use different cheese). I was looking forward to fast food but I was immensely disappointed… An alternative were potatoes. My mother-in-law literally cooked me potatoes with ketchup every day at home. I can’t complain because I love potatoes and it was an easy and fast alternative for the times I didn’t want to eat Chinese food.

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Hotpot

When we met with my boyfriend’s friends we usually went to restaurants where you cook the food yourself. So either Hotpot where there is literally a hot soup in the middle of the table and you put the ingredients in yourself. I hate it. The first ingredient is usually meat and afterwards everything tastes like meat. Mushrooms, noodles, shrimps everything tastes the same! I also hate that you can’t eat everything in time. Some food is just forgotten on the bottom of the pot and it gets too cooked. Doesn’t taste good anymore.

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BBQ

The other option I tried was a grill restaurant. You basically have a grill in the middle of the table and grill everything yourself. Since you use coal, you can’t regulate the heat. The food burns so fast! I find it stressful to quickly eat everything in time. I also don’t know what’s so tasty about a freaking grilled mushroom. It’s not marinated or so. So boring.

I also figured out that you can’t drink your beer alone. One person (the oldest??) takes his cup and cheers to everyone and then you drink your beer. For every sip. I didn’t care and drank whenever I wanted…

For my trip I was mostly in the north. I was surprised that I didn’t eat rice for once in the north! Instead of rice, they eat these plain steamed buns or “pancakes”. They taste like nothing and are quite dry (they don’t use milk or butter). After a couple days I was also sick of them and preferred rice… Rice at least tastes like something!

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My favorite dish in the middle

My favorite dish my mother-in-law cooks is egg-tomato. It’s basically fried egg with cooked fresh tomatoes and you eat it with rice or buns (depends on where you are)! Luckily, my boyfriend can cook this dish too so I can eat it in Germany! One family member has a farm, so we he always gave us a bunch of fresh vegetables from the garden! The beans and tomatoes were great! I also really liked the beijing duck in beijing (duh). They take the duck apart right in front of you! But they are really greasy…

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Duck

Next time I would take more initiative and cook more myself. I wanted to make pizza because mother-in-law has an oven but there was no cheese in the grocery store! There were just 4 types of this kind of cheese where every slice is wrapped in plastic. Not good for pizza. I was also scared that it’s the disgusting cheese from McDonald’s so I didn’t buy it. There was also NO frozen pizza! WHAAAAT??!! That’s why Pizza Hut is more expensive in China than in Germany. There is just no alternative! Pizza Hut imports the cheese so the pizza acutally tastes good.

All in all, food was really important and really annoying. It would be easier if I enjoy trying new food but after a while I just wanted to eat what I’m used to…

P.S.: Of cource, I had to get stomach problems… For about a week everything I ate gave me stomachache and I couldn’t be too far from a toilet. So eating was even more difficult and I got even more annoyed. I wanted to go home where I can have my normal “sick food”…

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “The After – Food

  1. Oh I remember very well. Food is very important too Chinese. But I guess Food is important in every culture, since it’s an important part of social life. You communicate, exchange news about you and your family.

    But “forcing” someone to eat is also very common in my family. My husband and my sisters boyfriend and husband in retrospect are asked by my mother 10 or more times to eat, even when they say they were very full. She disappointedly says, you have barely eaten anything, while they are actually on the edge of bursting. After a weekend at my mother’s home and they actually have to eat much less, the whole following week.

    I really don’t know what it is. If it is inherent to Chinese families, or not. I only know 3 Chinese families, so it’s not really a big enough sample to make a serious conclusion.

    I am glad you made it 😉 And welcome back to healthy portions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In the week when I had stomach problems I barely ate anything. The whole family seemed disappointed when I declined food. Hello??? I’m sick! Being hurt is not fun! Even when I was healthy and we had dinner with 5 dishes, I ate maybe 3 dishes but that wasn’t enough! I should eat a lot of everything… In my family it’s different. My mother never forces anybody to eat and doesn’t care how much you eat (as long as it’s not too much 😉).

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  2. Pingback: The After – Conversation | life as julia

  3. Pingback: The After – Family | life as julia

  4. Pingback: The After – People | life as julia

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