A Travellerspoint blog

November 2013

Hot Pot With The Gang of Sisters & School Sports

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Houston, we have touched down. Damn, where’s the gravity?

Honestly how cool are skipping photos, the students either look like little floating Buddha’s or that they have invisible jet packs on. As for the 'tug of war’ shots, it looks like certain members of the crowd are doing more than those actually pulling the rope. My favourites are the photos of when the female teachers won their ‘tug of war’ against the kitchen staff...perfect timing... and the one with the three students screaming for their team along with Kelly their English teacher and one of my assistants.

Obviously we have had our school sports over the last several days. They were absolutely awesome and the kids and teachers had so much fun.

Who needs batons, track and field, high jump, long jump and all those other things that I now see make our School Sports far too serious. Blind fold a teacher or a student and give them a guide and time how long it takes to burst all the balloons. Give the students plastic cups, fill them with water and make it into a relay race during which you can’t use your hands, then after several minutes see how much water each team has in the bucket at the end of the track. It would be totally against health regulations in Australia but if you click chopsticks and eat Chinese style;

Then passing water from cup to cup really isn’t any different. Once known as Zoe, Zombie Girl has changed her name to Zombie.

At the beginning of each class I invite four males and four females to the front of the class and we all open the class by saying Good Morning or Afternoon whilst doing something really silly like modelling on a cat walk and each spin of course includes hair flips, being chickens, doing the wiggle dance etc and groaning while doing the Zombie Dance...Zoe’s favourite!

Chinese Zombies don’t walk, they jump which of course makes it much more fun.

<u>The Food Shots in This Blog</u>

On Saturday and Saturday night I joined Super Sexy Check Out Chic and the Gang of Sisters for a huge home hot pot and beer evening at Wang Juxiang’s (SSCOC) house and after much food and beer they partook in home KTV whilst I got to dance with lovelies clad in short shorts and knee high boots...which I thought was a damn fine deal. As for the food...during winter Hot Pot is the huge winner here in China as it makes what is usually a rather unsociable season extremely social.

For those who begin teaching in China during winter it quickly becomes a favourite.

<u>SO WHAT IS HOT POT & WHERE DID IT COME FROM</u>

Also known as Chinese Steamboat or Chinese Fondue because of its similarity to the French counterpart, it is prepared in a metal pot which is placed in the center of the table. The pot is filled with simmering stock and all the ingredients are added and cooked in the broth. Add to that many beers and smiles and wallah, the perfectly fun way to enjoy a meal and catch up with friends on an extremely cold night.

<u>A Short Hot Pot History</u>

Chinese hot pot has a history of more than one thousand years and is believed to have originated in Mongolia where the main ingredient was meat which was usually beef, mutton or horse. It then spread to southern China during the Tang Dynasty and was further established during the Mongolian &#8216;Yuan Dynasty’. In time regional variations developed with different ingredients such as seafood and by the Qing Dynasty (AD 1644 to 1912), hot pot became popular throughout most of China.

<u>Ingredients In a Typical Hot Pot Recipe</u>

Hot pot styles change so much from region to region many different ingredients are used.

The soup stock is prepared well beforehand and is made by boiling beef, pork or chicken bones. Meat, seafood, vegetables, tofu and bean noodles are the most popular ingredients and seafood usually includes shrimp, crab, oysters, clams, squid, cuttlefish and fish. Vegetables that are most commonly used are cabbage, spinach, turnip, green onions, celery, coriander and lettuce. Mushrooms of various kinds, dried or fresh are also widely used as are dried lily flowers. Bean curd and bean noodles are served as more than just fillers and as they do not have much taste themselves, they do absorb the richness of the other ingredients.

The &#8216;common’ Hot Pot Restaurants pot has two parts, just like the Taoist Taijitu.

One half holds the hot red pepper stock and the other white stock and both allow you to cook your food in either half and enjoy the different flavors. The red pepper stock is made from beef lard, salted black beans, crystal sugar, cayenne pepper, wild pepper, bruised ginger, salt, Shaoxing rice wine and fermented glutinous rice soup. The white stock is made from white bean sauce, white sauce and meat from old/mature chicken and duck meat along with pork etc.

<u>Some famous variations of Chinese Hot Pot</u>

Guangdong Shacha Hot Pot: Cantonese Shacha Hot Pot is popular in the very south of China. Its sauce consists of dried shrimp, peanuts, garlic, hot pepper, tea leaves and salt. The sauce is also used in cooking other dishes and is mildly hot. Soy sauce and fresh raw egg are usually added to it to make a dip.

Chrysanthemum Hot Pot: Chrysanthemum Hot Pot was once popular with the royal families in the late Qing Dynasty. Chrysanthemum flowers are harbingers of coldness, when the chrysanthemums bloomed it was once considered time to start eating hot pot and the main ingredients are shrimp, thin slices of pork kidney and liver and fish.

Mutton Hot Pot: Mutton Hot Pot is a Peking style that has a legacy with the nomads of northern China. It is called Mongolian hot pot among us westerners, whereas the Japanese call it &#8216;Genghis Khan's cuisine’.

Sichuan and Chongqing Hot Pot: They are the &#8216;Big Daddy of Hot Pots.’

Traditional Sichuan/Chongqing Hot Pots (also called maodu or hairy stomach hot pot), like many other dishes of these provinces are known for their spiciness. The pepper oil added to the stock keeps it hot in more than one as it acts as an insulator on the surface of the soup. The main ingredients are beef tripe, pig’s throat, beef marrow, duck intestines and pigs brain but can include dog meat and other strange &#8216;inside things’.

Yuangyang Hot Pot: Literally Mandarin Duck Hot Pot, done Sichuan style.

Hainan Hot Pot: Hainan hot pot is generally served in small woks with a prepared broth containing pieces of meat. At the time of serving the meat is not fully cooked and a further fifteen minutes is required before it is ready to eat. Ingredients include mushrooms, thinly shaved beef or goat meat, lettuce and other green vegetables but it also varies somewhat in different parts of the same province.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Buffalo Tom The album was &#8216;Sleepy Eyed’ ____________________________________________________________

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports


Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Home Hot Pot &#38;amp; School Sports

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Happy Little Smiles For Another Sad Goodbye

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Time, when it’s time for it to stop; No matter what you are doing, it’s time to go.

After school today I took a ride to the tea fields to bury a beer glass next to Frans little tea cup to say good bye to Terry, my families longest and closest friend who passed away last Thursday. Both our families lived next door to each other for most of my life, in fact even prior to my arrival so I thought he definitly deserved his own page as he and his wife have actually been part of this blog for many years.

Eve is from Xian City in Shaanxi Province China and thirteen years ago when I first visited the Land of Beers N Noodles I got to stay with her sister’s family for a week.

Since then she has gone on to become my mother’s closest friend which of course has made my families worries about me living in China much less than what it normally would be. We’ve caught up on a number of occasions over the past eight years, mostly in Xian when Terry and Eve returned to visit her family. Other times totally unexpected with Terry yelling rather 'colourful Aussie Lingo’ from beneath my apartment window to wake me from my Friday night beery slumber.

This beers for you Terry, you were part of my life from birth all the way through until you left for the great Beers N Noodles eatery in the sky last Thursday. It was always awesome to share a 'Catchup Coldie' or three, maybe four...um and sometimes a few more each time you and Eve returned to China. Cheers mate, will miss you heaps and Luo Wei sends a huge hug and a wok full of strength to Eve to help her through.

Random Terry & Eve catch up in Xian 2000

Random Terry & Eve catch up in Xian 2000

Random Terry & Eve catch up in Luoyanng 2007

Random Terry & Eve catch up in Luoyang 2007

Random Terry & Eve catch up in Xian 2009

Random Terry & Eve catch up in Hanzhong 2010

<u>Remembrance Day & The Blogs Photo’s</u>

It is now Monday, 11th November 2013 which of course is Remembrance Day. I participated as I do each year by sharing the minutes silence with my students in class. Thankfully this year I had my Grade 5’s so it actually worked pretty well, unlike last year when I had my Grade 1’s, but hey they did their best for about twenty seconds.

The dinner shots are from my Birthday Dinner with Super Sexy Checkout Chic and the Gang of Sisters. Due to work schedules we couldn’t all catch up as one until a few weeks later, but was definitely worth the wait because ohhhhh, they can cook! This coming weekend we are hoping to get together for Hot Pot….ohhh yeah!

We had a &#8216;Marching Competition’ at school last week which I thought was going to be really cool. Buuuuuut it wasn’t as each class from Grade 1 through to Grade 6 did exactly the same march. Who in their right mind would organise such a strange competition and expect the students to remain in some sort of excited and controllable state. I stayed for a &#8216;shortish’ time and then grabbed my bike and got as far away as I possibly could.

The girl in the third photo at the top of the page is one of our newbie 'Left Overs' and the poor girl is almost blind. If she puts the book almost against her eyes she can see it but I'm unsure how blurry it is. When she first came she would sit in silence and remain unresponsive in all teachers classes and sadly some of the other teachers would tell me that is is 'stupid'. So in all my classes I would re-draw everything I drew on the board into her book so she could see what it was she was learning.

NOW....now she is the first to race to the front for everything and anything so I give her her own special reading time. I quietly read to her and she reads it out loud and the other students repeat what she 'reads'. She also comes up and dances, helps open the class and close it and the rest of the class are always racing over to give her a hug to let her know they are all still there.

Cute as little buttons!

<u>In The End, It Really Is About TIME!</u>

The following is something I wrote some time ago and it is of course, all about time. So if you have some time and nothing better to do, Give Vetta A Whirl!

Time really does pass by with the blink of an eye but the problem is though that it passes by within a blink of our own eyes. Both our days and nights pass by under the ungrateful and greedy eyes of time and it’s these very grains that we are made to rely on to give us some sort of structure in our lives.

Forever taking from us, yet unkindly never giving in return.

Our sands begin to flow from our very first breath, yet strangely do we not also begin our pathway to death from the very same first breath that gives us life? Time and life, life and time, how confusing it really can be when you sit back and think about it. How you spend your time is up to no one but yourself and what you do with it is also personally up to you. What the best way to use your time is an age old question. Do we follow the rules, not drink and smoke and do our best to follow our chosen dogma to be then collected by the 8:15 am train on the way to work when strangely you are not at the station but in your car listening to the radio when WHAM, the 8:15 decides to collect you anyhow.

No one on the 8:15 will go to work that day as time has caught up with you all!

Prior to you unwillingly catching the 8:15 did you do your best and fulfil all your dreams? Did you relax on a mountain top sipping green tea in the destination of your dreams? Did you give birth and raise the child that will carry on your name? Did you find the love you have always dreamed of?

Did you did you did you?

Or have you simply continued doing what you have been taught to believe is the right thing to do with your time? Are you still near to and unwilling to break away from your parents protective arms, help and love. So much time....or so we are led to believe we have but Time has a way of quietly sneaking up on us and then racing away and before you know it you are losing time.

Sometimes simply relaxing and reading about how others spend their time is a good way to use your own time. But how much time reading about 'another’s' time is the right amount of time? That's a good question for all of you readers out there. I once spent a LOT of time reading about 'others' time, so much so that I allowed a decade of my own time flow by without doing much at all with my own time. I dined on so many people’s dreams that each week was like feasting on a banquet of 'other peoples 'dreams and time’.

So when is 'your' time to stop feasting upon others time? When is it time to begin living your own dreams? So many other possibilities are open to us.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Living Colour The album was &#8216;Times Up’ ____________________________________________________________

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry


Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Happy Good Bye Smiles For Terry

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)