I’ve been here for less than 2 days but, upon stepping off the plane, have felt a curiously shock-free drift back into Chinese life. We’ve been taking it easy so far, just staying on the UNNC campus.
Although my body clock is still adjusting, overall the jet lag has been minimal. Yesterday we spent sharing meals with the friends that Joel has made here over the past 3 months: lunch with an Indian family transplanted from Scotland, and dinner at a Sichuan place with PhD students from Thailand, Colombia, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
The dinner itself was quite a memorable affair; the first actual Chinese meal (and therefore most highly anticipated) I’ve had since landing. Hot stone pot beef, sesame chili potato fries, sour cabbage, bok choy, crispy fried custardy tofu in chili sauce, and the piece de resistance – the highly praised (by Joel) “gan guo tu dou pian,” a tasty dish of sliced potatoes mixed with smokey bacon and set to sizzle in a chafing dish. It was not only a fine meal to start off our China trip with, but also a wonderful time to be able to meet the people with whom Joel has been befriending.
And now, after 2 days for me, and 3 months for Joel in Ningbo, we’re now packing up and heading to the train station this afternoon to visit our first home in China way back in 2007: Shaoxing.