Wednesday, November 14, 2018

We Found More Stairs!

Sunday afternoon is a good time for a hike or local exploration. Since Lukas was not feeling so good, he opted to stay in the apartment as the rest of us set out to find the blue church. We can see this church from our apartment, and it did not seem too difficult to use visual navigation to get there. Well, we did hike several different streets, and we did see many interesting things, but we did not find the blue church. We stumbled upon the stairs that descend into Chongqing from Nashan. I was outvoted, and we did not go down to Chongqing but backtracked up the stairs and back home.  Noah kept count on the stairs for a bit and lost track after he had reached 2,000. This is hill country for sure.
Taking a reading on direction for our trip

Well dressed worker - look at the sleeve covers!

Root of tree grows on wall

Stairs and more stairs

What to do? What does the map indicate?

Exploring on Campus

Monday, November 5, 2018

Hot Pot

Chongqing is said to have been the birthplace of hot-pot. It is a famous dish that now is served all over China.  On Saturday evening, we headed out to a hot-pot restaurant with the other NAU faculty. The restaurant was built on a hill, and there were 1,000 tables at the restaurant. Next door, was another almost equally large restaurant, and scattered all over this area were too many Hot Pot restaurants to count.  We took advantage of our Chinese host who expertly and graciously ordered the food and drinks.  Plates upon plates arrived with a variety of foods. Some of us tried tripe, long stripes of intestines,  and blood cubes, and other stuck with meatballs, sliced meat, vegetables, and cuttle fish. It was good that we sat by a window and that we had lots of liquids to drink. It is purposefully named hot pot.

When we left the restaurant, it was dark, and the lights were all on. It reminded me of a Christmas village complete with the bad traffic that tends to back up as people stare at the lights. Here they were too busy trying to get out of the parking lot to bother looking at the lights, and we walked to the main road faster than the people could get there in their cars.


Lukas and Noah pulled out Chinese MREs for lunch. It differed from the previous ones we had bought in that it took 15 minutes to 'cook.' Noah could not help but do a comparison between the picture and the actual food. The verdict, the red MREs taste better than these and take less time to cook. Apparently, eight minutes is apparently a long time to wait when one is hungry.

Steam making the picture cloudy

This Post Dedicated to Joel

We hit another item on our 'must see' list this week - the Flying Tigers' Museum and General Stillwell's home. We could not help but think of Joel as we wandered around the museum and exhibitions. It was interesting to learn more about the Pacific side of World War II. Fortunately, each exhibit had a brief English description with the events presented from a Chinese perspective - the national pride was palpable. The close cooperation and mutual appreciation between China and the US that existed is in stark contrast to the current climate.

General Stillwell's home nicely incorporated Eastern details in a house that architecturally appeared inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Too bad the English text was covered by his head. 

"In the name of the people of the United States of America, I present this scroll to the City of Chungking as a symbol of our admiration for its brave men, women, and children. Under blasts of terror from the air, even in the days before the world at large had known this horror Chungking and its people held out firm and unconquered. They proved gloriously that terrorism cannot destroy the spirit of a people determined to be fee. Their fidelity to the cause of freedom will inspire the hearts of all future generations." Franklin D. Roosevelt

"With the guns silent and the smoke faded it is the historical 
friendship and our memory that will last forever. "

Sun in the City

As is becoming our weekly habit, we headed downtown to explore a bit more of this city. The sun made the city look so different.
One of the first times we have seen the city from our apartment

There are hardly any elevators or escalators in the city, so this one stood out - seven steps..

Self Serve Hot Pot

Just here in our neighborhood are more restaurants than we could ever explore in our time here, although we are trying hard to catch them all. We ended up at a self-serve hot-pot restaurant and were most likely to joke of the whole place, carefully inspecting each skewer in an attempt to determine what it might contain. Some things did not even warrant a second look, such as the bowl with a brain in it.

We gathered up a bunch of skewers and dropped them into the hot oil, while the server motioned to us to pour our individual sized oil into our bowls. In reading about hot-pots, we had heard that one gets a bowl of oil to dip the food that has been cooked in oil, into before eating it.  Well, it was a spicy oil and added much heat to the already spicy food. 

 At one point, the owner came over and spoke to us, and when we signal that we did not understand, he kept on talking and talking and talking. Even our few glossaries are not sufficient to understand even the context of the message. The food was good and the price was right, paying by the weight of the skewers.

To cool off tongues and lips, we capped off the evening with soft serves before hiking up the hill to our apartment.