Television and Wandering
People who pick up and move to a foreign country experience many of the same culture shocks. New language, new food, new customs, etc. Dealing with these culture shocks can be extremely difficult and coping methods can often fail, but there is one tried and true system that works time and time again. LOADS OF TV SHOWS.
Literally everyone I know who has lived abroad has gotten addicted to countless TV shows. Maybe it’s all the free time? The need to be transported somewhere else for a few hours? All I know is that I somehow and somewhat scarily went through all of the following:
Dexter seasons (1-4), Californication (1-3), How I Met Your Mother (1-5), Prison Break (1-4), Gossip Girl (1-3), True Blood (1-2), United States of Tara (1-2), stayed up to date on The Office and 30 Rock, and watched tons of Seinfeld/Curb Your Enthusiasm. I’m sure I’m forgetting something here.
I mean I only work 10-12 hours a week I can’t be reading books and doing productive things ALL the time. =)
All this TV nonsense, Insanity + weight training, cooking, trying to eat more protein and wandering aimlessly has really kept me sane/happy and funnily enough is exactly what I do at home. Culture shock coping mechanisms to the rescue. As much as I really want to immerse myself in Chinese culture, as humans we ARE tribal beings, and sometimes I just miss my tribe ok??
Today’s protein conquest:
+ Insanity and upper body weight training
+ New show = The Tudors….amazingly spicy scenes goin on…have I mentioned that China is holding my sex drive hostage?
+ Wandering (the result of my wandering was documenting different common Chinese snacks that I had to stop eating months ago because they were making me gain massive amounts of depression inducing weight….more on that tomorrow).
Yikes…spicy as hell =) but loaded with MSG
Chinese bread is really sweet! The most common of these is the “bao zi” on the top left. Filled with meat. Damn I used to love these things. One Chinese slang i learned recently is saying “ni shi bao zi.” Ni shi = you are, bao zi = steamed stuff bun, ni shi bao zi = you are fat. Ha! True story.
You can get ANY sort of drink you could ever imagine here. Any fruit flavored drink, coffee, tea, topped with red beans, tapioca balls, jello, ice cream, you name it. An old favorite:
This actually isn’t so bad for you considering its 80% ice and has beans on top! And on a hot China summer day, these frappacino like “sha bings” (which literally translates to sand ice) are LIFESAVERS because holy hell, China gets HOTTTTTTTTTTT.
This snackage right here was probably the most offensive thing I’ve ever done to my body. This is basic dough, flattened, covered in spices and MSG (I saw the dude pouring it on) and practically deep fried.
People really love this stuff here and I completely understand why—it’s delicious and SO addicting. Dangerous territory since the MSG keeps you wanting more and more and more and more……
And then there is salvation:
These fruit stands are EVERYWHERE in China. I hit this place up multiple times a day. Wo xi huan shui guo = I like fruit.
Anyway, enough of this rainy day off randomness…time for me to go out and wander/explore the streets of China yet again. I only have 4 days left (4 days!!) so I’m sure that I’ll be doing lots of reflections on health/depression/exercise/fun Chinese things so stay tuned!