Q and A


Why do I even want a wok? I want a wok because I want to cook the authentic way. I mean I make fried rice and the amazing long beans with dried chilies, but I’d like to expand my Chinese cooking.  I bought a fantastic fondue pot and raclette grill in Switzerland so…it only seemed natural to buy a wok.

Will I cook seeds, nuts, or fish parts in my wok? Seeds and nuts perhaps but I’ll let you know about the fish parts. I don’t want to say never because I may find some fish parts that I can’t live without. Fish maw (the swim bladder) is a delicacy. I’m fairly certain that I have partaken fish maw actually. Can’t say at this point though that I can’t live without it.

How big are the grocery stores? I shop in several and the one where  I do most of my shopping is Metro. It’s a German chain and is a cross between Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club (although I’ve never been in a Sam’s Club). The first half sells items for gardening, hardware supplies, TVs, computers, clothing, and yes woks. I usually fly through this area to get to the food. Like Sam’s Club they sell large quantities. The difference is that the most of the packaging is smaller and usually they just bundle 2-3 items together rather than have an industrial size box of Cap’n Crunch (there is no Cap’n Crunch, that was just my example).  But having said that they also sell a lot of normal size, non-bundled things, just in a warehouse-type atmosphere. The other stores I’ve been to look like your everyday ones back in the US, only the packaging is in Chinese characters and you can buy black swan heads to cook. Then there are the import stores. They are more like a Mom & Pop stores. Smaller but filled with all the things you think you can’t live without and will pay two or three times the US price just to have a taste of home. Hershey’s chocolate licorice comes to mind. I had a difficult time finding that in Cinci but I can get it here!

Why are there people in the grocery section? I have no idea. The girl who tries to teach me about yogurt looks the part. She’s dressed in white with a white apron and a cute little white hat but my Mandarin will probably never be good enough for me to understand why she accosts Westerners and tries to get them to buy yogurt. Perhaps I’ll try zhoukai on her next time 😉

Does China have winters? Yes, but not here! I’m jumping up and down, and celebrating! Because China is so vast they experience just about every weather phenomenon. GZ though has sultry summers, less sultry autumns, cool winters, and gearing-up-for-sultry-weather springs. I have been checking the weather in Changchun for the next 4 days.  The temps during the day will be in the 40s and 50s but the nights will be in the 20s. That’s cold by anyone’s standards.  I’m looking forward to a taste of cooler weather. Everyone in GZ  keeps promising it but I’m still wearing summer clothes.

Am I able to go to church in China? I am.  I haven’t gone yet but that doesn’t mean I don’t thank God every day for this amazing opportunity and for allowing us to meet the wonderful people that we have.

Am I allowed to write about my religious preferences? Doubtful. Whether I am or not I won’t because I don’t want to test the system.  I knew before I arrived about the lack of religious freedom. As a visitor in THEIR country, I need to respect that. Having said that, Sundays are strange here. Anders and I have commented on this several times. All the days of the week are the same. It’s because there isn’t time set aside for worship on any day.  But now that I think about it, it’s not that much different from the States.

Do Chinese people eat dogs? I finally remembered to ask Ben today and he laughed.  He said that people who live in the country and some city people may but it’s not common. He told me an adage about Cantonese (where GZ is located) eating habits. They will eat anything that flies except an airplane, anything from the water except a boat, and anything on 4 legs except a table. He wanted me to assure my nephew that Lily is safe while he’s watching her though. He won’t take her home and put her in the wok for dinner because he doesn’t know how to cook 🙂 He’s quite the comedian.  

For some annoying reason the final question refuses to be shown in red. Anyone that knows me will know that it’s bugging me and is not surprised that I’m putting in this disclaimer.

I hope this has answered some questions that you have.  Thanks to my former neighbor from 23+ years ago for asking some of these.

4PM – 71°


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.

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