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English Competition and Fear Facing

June 10, 2010

Last night’s English (singing) competition was pretty amazing. All of the contestants sang random English songs and were pretty good at it! Highlights were: Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” “Open Arms” by Journey, and “My Heart Will Go On,” Titanic belting madness. DAMN those students went for some high notes. Some were successful, some were not (but at least they tried).

Hand Holding Love

What a pimp!

I was a super important judge:

Ready to score....not in the good way.

I had no idea how to fairly score! So I ended up giving them all a 9 or a 10 since they all put in a ton of effort.

Then, of course, after the competition I was invited out to dinner which is the thing I’m most afraid of in China. That’s so messed up…but I plan on doing a post explaining exactly why I have this fear because it’s a long story!

Anyway, for the first time ever I had strategy going into dinner and did pretty well. The need to do Insanity when I got home really helped me not overdo it at dinner since I didn’t want to risk throwing up!!

Basically, when you go out to dinner in China the table always looks a little like this:

Lazy Susan

Lazy Susans BEG for overeating. You have tons of plates to endlessly pick at with your chopsticks!! It’s also difficult because people are constantly telling you to keep eating. Before I know it I end up eating like 5-6 bowls of food. However, I vowed to NOT let that happen this time. CHINESE DINNER YOU WILL NOT DEFEAT ME. So, here we go…

How to navigate Chinese dinner without people thinking that you aren’t eating (because if at any point you look like you aren’t eating, someone will tell you to continue):

Step 1: Have a small veggie appetizer

Random Vegetable

Step 2: Have one more veggie appetizer

Green Beans

Step 3: have a normal bowl of food

Rice, more beans and corn

Step 4: Have some protein once other people have gotten some so the focus is off of you! I had a few squares of tofu but I forgot to photo.

On the table there was also fish, beef, mushroom soup, the tofu, bullfrog and sautéed celery. Of course I got tons of  pressure “Just try the beef, it’s really special!!” BUT I stuck to my guns and appreciatively declined due to vegetarian-ness. I try not to think about the fact that most restaurant dishes in China are cooked in animal fat.

Animal fat hiding in my food

And served in a bowl full of oil.

Oil

Not to mention, Chinese restaurants use MSG. There is no way that green beens are that tasty without it. They didn’t even taste like green beans. They just tasted like something that I wanted to constantly shove into my mouth until it was gone (MSG acts as an “anti” appetite depressant). For info on MSG check out MSG Truth OR watch the movie A Beautiful Truth (deals with many other food related issues) which is fantastic.

I’m very happy to say that I left this meal not feeling like my stomach was about to burst and was able to work out after! A first for me in China! VICTORY!! Now don’t get me wrong, all of the food here was beyond delicious. I have this fear that this post might sound bad and somewhat ignorant of Chinese culture…but I’ll clear things up very soon with why I am this way after having spent a year here….

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 11, 2010 1:10 am

    Dude this looks awesome!!! And I loved how you wrote about dinner. Sounds like you have a great perspective and are making it work for you. I am jealous of the Chinese food. I am sure it gets boring but Asian food is my fave and it has not really quite caught on down here in Africa…

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