The parents of my student Karen took us out to dinner the other night. They must have been testing us, because they decided to order the weirdest possible food ever (all the stuff we'd been avoiding). Really, I think I would have been OK never having eaten chicken feet in China, but the slimy little claws were basically forced on us. We had crocodile stomach with snails, but the highlight of the dinner was a dish ordered in our honor, called "Travel Around the World." Unfortunately, it consisted of chicken feet and pig feet. Yum. To be fair, the foot wasn't disgusting, I just didn't understand the appeal. There's hardly any meat on either one, and what is there is fatty. Also, I didn't like the little chicken toenail poking me in the mouth while I gnawed on it. Too much information? Sorry.
I turned 27 on February 15th. I still feel like a little kid most times.
For my birthday/Valentine's Day, Helen and John took us out to a restaurant to celebrate. Believe me, the last thing I wanted to do on my birthday was eat more Chinese food, but there's no saying no to these people! ;) The highlight of the day was forcing Andrew to wear matching couple shirts (they're all the rage in China), wearing not one but two birthday crowns, and getting an awesome gift from the husband.
First, my mom (who is the greatest in the world and never forgets to send me something for holidays) sent me a box of V-Day candy, along with some beautiful Silver Forest earrings, my absolute favorite jewelry company in the world. I shared the candy with students. They were excited, really, though you wouldn't know it by the look on their faces.
Second, we went to lunch, ate Chinese food and cake, and opened gifts. Helen and John got me a beautiful jade bracelet, and Andrew lovingly prepared a scrapbook full of pictures of me in China. It was really cool.
Third, we got on a bus to go to Beijing for the weekend. More on that in another post.