Ben and I had a rare miscommunication. It was funny and didn’t result in anyone getting hurt 😉 The worst thing that happened is that I still do not have a wok.

I asked him about a month after I moved here where I could buy a wok. He didn’t understand the word wok, it’s not as Chinese a word as you would think. I motioned cooking on a stove and what I thought was a cooking vessel.  He told me I could find one at OneLink. I looked at OneLink when I was there last Wednesday. I didn’t find one and when I got in the car and told him I couldn’t find one he was very surprised. He told me that I could find one in the stalls on the street. That’s when I learned that OneLink is more than just one building, it’s several, and it’s not just buildings, it’s street stalls. So I thought my only problem in finding a wok was that I wasn’t looking in the right place.

So I conspired. I manipulated. I cajoled. I convinced. I made Anders and A go there this weekend as part of A’s introduction to GZ 😉  I do believe in all honesty that every visitor needs to experience OneLink. It’s not all “crap”. Sorry, I digress in an attempt to ease my guilt for dragging them along. I then took them to the side streets in hopes that perhaps with 3 pairs of eyes looking we could find a wok. Not a one to be found. What we saw was a lot of food. There were bins and barrels full of pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chestnuts, walnuts, name the mushroom and it was there plus a lot that I didn’t recognize, all kinds of raisins and other dried fruit. Across the street they were selling dried things. Things is the best word I can use because I could not put a name to 99% of what I saw. Judging by the smell I would say that most of it was fish parts. Stall after stall full of plastic tubs selling dried fish fins, skate bones?, internal organs, and swim bladders. Everything looked like a chew toy for a dog. It is the kind of place where I would want someone along that could tell me what everything was. I truly wanted to know what I was looking at but not everyone in our party did. We are in Canton where they will eat anything.  Bottom line?  Plenty of food stuff but no wok!

So for the second time in 4 days I got in the car and told Ben that I struck out (I did not use those exact words) and again surprise was written all over his face. Knowing what I know now he must have thought I was the most inept person in the world. After a few minutes of talking and gesturing I realized that he thought I was looking for cooking ingredients! He was motioning in the wok and I was gesturing to the wok! We had quite a laugh over that 🙂 No wonder he was surprised. If the Cantonese cook it, I’m sure I could have bought it there. So in the end I learned the Mandarin word for wok is guo, and I can get one at the store where I buy groceries.

I’d like to give a special shout out to “The Coffee/Doggy Group”. I miss you. The picture of Klaus and Tessa kissing is once again hanging in my office. I smile every time I see it. Thanks for that.

5PM – 80°


About vikarenously

I am an ex-pat living in Guangzhou, China. I am married to the man of my dreams who has indulged my love of travel by working hard enough to snag two international assignments. Oh yes, I also have two amazing children who accompanied us on our first one to Switzerland and are now mature and responsible adults which makes it so easy for us to experience this adventure as empty-nesters. Experience it vicariously with Karen.

4 responses »

  1. It is real nice you got yourself a wok, but can I ask what you plan on cooking in it? Seeds, nuts, or fish parts? 🙂 Nothing has changed with me, I still hate to cook and use every and any excuse not to do it, so I am seriously wondering why you need one. Isn’t a wok just kind of a tall frying pan? You really need to explain your grocery stores. I am still confused on how big they are and why there are people in the yogurt section? I would imagine you would have seen the woks at the grocery store when you were going up and down the aisles, unless of course, they also are huge and you still haven’t been down every aisle yet!

    • I will answer all your questions tomorrow! Thanks for the post idea, now I don’t have to come up with something. It will however be pre-empted IF something newsworthy comes up 😉

  2. Karen, HA! What a hoot. Glad you found your wok. Sure wish I was there to sample your wok cooking. Your pub brothers miss you(and Anders too)!

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