So today, our evening event was being invited to the home of one of the teachers for dinner.  So they split us up into groups of 3, and teachers came to pick us up to take us to their apartment.  I went to the house of a math teacher, who is also married to a teacher.  They also invited their friends - a married couple who are also both teachers - to dinner with us.  That other couple has a young daughter, who is maybe 6 years old.  And the couple who lives there has four-year-old twin boys (one of the only ways to bypass the "one child" policy in China.

The dinner was impressive.  The wife basically stayed in the kitchen the whole time, preparing food.  As is the custom in China, one dish of food came out at a time, and was placed in the middle of the table for everyone to share.  And then, every few minutes, another plate of food came out.  Unlike most other meals that I've had here, there were no rice or noodles - those are both considered common, "poor" food that is filling and cheap.  We were given the best of the best.  Some of the highlights were a super delicious, tender, falling-off-the-bone pork loin, some really good chicken wings that were taken off of the bones and then served almost like "meat lollipops" with the wing bones, a spicy chili tofu dish, and a nice sauteed fish with scallions, garlic, and a delicious sauce.  There were also a few other meats (including liver, sausage, kidneys) some interesting vegetables (like a sauteed cucumber/lima bean dish, and slices of lotus root) and a few other interesting things (like these really good veggie dumplings, duck soup, and hard boiled duck eggs which you were supposed to eat with the shell still on them.)  It was a feast!  And even though a lot of the stuff sounds a little different that what you might expect to have in American - or than what I've had so far here in China - everything was actually very good and I tried, and even went back for seconds, of everything on that table!  It was the best overall meal that I've had here in China.

And as impressive as the meal was, the house was even more so!  His apartment was about 2000 square feet, and was two stories tall (starting on the 9th story of the 10 story building.)  He had beautiful hard wood floors throughout, a 52" flat screen TV in the living room, a piano (that his 4 year old boys know how to play!) and much more.  His sons' bathroom - which is bathroom #3 in the house - is bigger than my bathroom.  Their master bedroom has a nice, hardwood floored, screened in patio off of it.  And two teachers live there!  And it's walking distance from the school.  Now, the school - which is one of the richest ones in all of Nanjing, and probably China - subsidizes some of his housing expenses, but still.  So while this house was bigger, cleaner, nicer, and more modern than anything that could possibly be considered "normal" in this country, I still felt like this was my first glimpse into family life here in China.

The teacher who took us to his house spoke a very basic level of English - enough to communicate with us and serve as a translator for the other 3 Chinese people there who spoke almost no English, and the 3 of us Americans who spoke almost no Chinese.  And despite the obvious language barrier, all 7 of the adults there had a great time.  We had conversations about many different topics, we ate food, drank wine, and laughed together.  Of course, like all the Chinese people that I've met, they were all incredibly accommodating and awesome to their visitors.  We are treated like family everywhere that we go, and this was no different.

This is right up there with the best experiences that I've had so far in China, and it's something that I'll never forget.  I'll post some pictures of the food and the house in the Nanjing Pictures page tomorrow, but I have to get a little bit of sleep now, because it's getting late.  I will try to post a picture of Mr. Li and his family on this but the internet is giving me some problems, so if it doesn't work I will just post this and add pictures on the other pages tomorrow.  Good night!
I felt honored to be invited to this family's house for dinner tonight!


07/12/2013 10:57am

Love, love, love reading your blog and seeing all the pictures, Dan! You are so good at describing everything that I feel as though I'm actually "hearing" you say it. Can't wait to hear more stories in person. It sounds like you are having a wonderful time. What a great opportunity this has been for you. I know this isn't the first time you've been out of the country - but I know it's gotta be a whole different experience since you are actually immersed in the culture and not just a "tourist". Can't wait to read your next entry and see more pictures!


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    I'm Dan.  I'm a teacher.  And this is my blog about my trip to China.

    Wŏ jiào Dan.  Wŏ shì laŏ shī.  Zhè ge wŏ blog dù wŏ jià zhōng guó.


    July 2013
    June 2013