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End of the Year Banquet

May 23, 2010

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! Mine was filled with lots of reflecting on life, a banquet, tequila and friends. My program hosted a huge end-of-year-in-China event in the biggest city in my province, Changsha, and it was a great way to wrap up the insanity that was the past year. It all started with a breakfast I brought from home, overnight oats:

Overnight oats with soy milk, hemp protein, cinnamon and mashed banana

Alright I need to get some new protein powder ASAP. This hemp protein that I have makes everything look so unappealing!

The majority of the day involved me sitting in a conference room, talking about going back to the US, experiences from China, logistics, bonding events, etc., which obviously involved copious amounts of snackage. I didn’t photo anything, but instead of going out to a nice Chinese lunch like a normal person, I grazed on tons of apples, bananas, corn on the cob and tea.

I think that I was preparing myself for what was sure to be a massive dinner, as we were all (about 70 volunteers) treated to a lovely banquet. I was shocked at how light and somewhat healthy the dishes at the banquet were. Of course there were some that I knew would make me feel way too full, but I was thrilled with the options that ended up in my bowl:

Pancake and Chinese Eggplant




I can’t believe how normal I think it is now to pick at a fish body with chopsticks. In some ways it’s nice! I like the idea of being realistic when eating animals.

Here’s what I missed out on:

Chicken Dish

Tofu Mushroom Soup

Crispy Duck Skin Pancake

Random Dishes

I also completely forgot to photograph all the wine that I was kind of guzzling (hey, it was a celebration), which led to a massive amount of picture taking:

Zhuzhou (my city) Crew

Group From NYC

After some drinks....

After the banquet, most of the group moved to a mini party in one of the hotels, and then to a bar where we bought more tequila shots than I ever thought possible. I guess that’s what you need after a year of teaching in China, eh? I hadn’t had any alcohol in a long time and was kind of nervous about how I would handle it, but in the end it was a great time and made me feel better about going out and going to parties back in the states (I thought I had forgotten =P).

The next day I decided to treat myself to ice cream for the long bus ride back to my city since it was BEAUTIFUL out!! Who doesn’t need/want ice cream on a sunny and warm day? The little stand near the bus station always serves ice cream in cones, but not being the biggest cone fan I wanted to see if they would put it in a cup. After about 5 straight minutes of pointing and trying to speak Chinese, I ended up with this:


Are you serious???? When the girl handed this cup to me I started cracking up. Oh, China. I was in shock at how big this cup of ice cream was (and that it only cost $1.00), but I was even MORE shocked that I couldn’t finish it. I don’t think I’ve ever not finished ice cream before.

Post-bus ride I went for a long walk since working out after a tequila night didn’t sound ideal, and bought some perfect night-after-drinking food, soy milk and sticky rice. The sticky rice was perfect and made me feel like a functional person again. Woo! Although most of the time Chinese food and my body are not exactly harmonious, sometimes it really comes through for me.

Soy Milk and Sticky Rice


Time to catch up on TV shows! Errrr…..lesson plan…=)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2010 10:23 pm

    I’m surprised at the banquet food! It all looks like stuff I’d eat (minus the fish 😀 )

    Tequila + friends + China sounds like the perfect night!

  2. May 24, 2010 12:14 am

    I was surprised too! I think it’s the healthiest, most non-crazy food banquet I’ve ever been to. Hooray!

  3. May 24, 2010 8:02 pm

    $1.00 for all that soft serve ice-cream?!? That’s it, I’m moving to China…better start working on my chopstick skills. 😉

  4. May 25, 2010 10:57 am

    ICE CREAM???? I picked the WRONG foreign country. Africa sucks, I am leaving right now. : )

  5. Lorraine permalink
    May 25, 2010 7:10 pm

    i just had some sticky rice the other day! but in the sun family we call them chinese tamales, way cooler. my mom has been planning to set up a cooking lesson with my gma to learn how to make this stuff. can’t wait bc hers are amazing!

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