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Eating Chinese food in China

Portraits on the wall of a Xinjiang restaurant in Beijing

While my bath is running – a hot bath followed by lemon-ginger tea and melatonin being my current Time Adjustment Treatment – I’ll just note the important events of a first day in Beijing. A Saturday, for the first time, and I’ve discovered that it is restful to arrive on Friday afternoon, in time for a splendid sunset over the western mountains and a little email catchup as the workday began in Massachusetts and New York.  Today, we went to the police station to get me registered and then more paperwork to get a new mobile phone number. No meetings, so I’ve been able to catch up on work and with Tom, as we plan all the meetings and events of next week. And I laughed as we sat over dinner at a Xinjiang restaurant – before he headed out for his Saturday night – when I thought of the times people have said, “Is Chinese food different in China?” I’ve been in China for just over 24 hours and have eaten four delicious meals at inexpensive local restaurants we walked to and tasted a number of dishes I’ve never had before: a hot soybean milk soup, slightly sweet and quite thick, spicy roasted cauliflower, turnip cake with chili paste, and a dish of Xinjiang “stretch noodles” chopped into short lengths and cooked with vegetables in a sweet-and-sour sauce. Here’s a photo of the some of the wonderful portraits on the wall of the Xinjiang restaurant. Muslim food, yes, but certainly not “dry” – as you can see from the large beer bottle.

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