Sunday, October 10, 2004

Shanghai Dreamin'
This weekend's theme: memories of Shanghai. Mmmm, Shanghai. To give people a basic idea of why this is such a good thing, I'll put it this way. During all of the stress of constantly changing schedules and never knowing who was supposed to being doing what where in China, the five of us who went to Shanghai started invoking the name of the city to each other to induce a kind of brief mental vacation.

In Shanghai, we were hosted by Lee's aunt and uncle, An and Mike. Due to the current public holiday season in China, they've been in the US this past week or so. On Friday night, Lee and I went to his cousin's house to have dinner with them. It was so cool to see them again! Mike commented that he had always liked me, because I was the only person who didn't try to steal his microphone at karaoke. An reportedly told Lee's dad that I was good because I wasn't "wild and crazy" like Lee's other friends in Shanghai. An brought Lee the two leather jackets her friend in Hangzhou had promised him. An, Mike, and Lee's dad all kind of ganged up on him with their various opinions of what his future should be, and whether or not he should go teach in China, which was amusing at least to me.

The dinner itself was also quite fabulous. Lee's cousin Jo had gone all out in planning her menu. It was Italian rather than Chinese in honor of her husband and in-laws, but I don't think anyone minded. It's hard to complain about chicken marsala, stuffed bread, regular bread, salad, and homemade three-cheese macaroni. I was once again encouraged to eat more, much like in China, and had to repeat my claim that I have a small stomach to go with my small stature. My stomach is Japanese at heart, to mix some interesting anatomical metaphors.

On Saturday, Lee invited Liz and Gina (and Gina's husband Oz) over for dinner, so four of the five of us were back together, reminiscing. Lee went all out on his cooking as well, perhaps inspired by Jo, but Chinese this time. We had duck, pork, fish, curried chicken & potatoes, and ground beef stuffed green peppers. (Note that this is Lee Chinese food, heavy on the meat. We never had that much meat in China, probably not in a whole week. He did grow up in Michigan, after all.) The duck was very good, and Gina was especially happy about it, since she missed the Peking duck outing in Beijing. After dinner, we introduced Liz to the joys of Lord of the Rings while she set to work on the small scrapbook from all of us to Mike and An, thanking them for the awesome time they gave us. Picking all the pictures to put in it was excellent fun, and Liz did a very lovely job scrapbooking them all thematically.

On Sunday, I tried to continue the China theme of the weekend by trying to find a Chinese movie to rent, but Lee's video store sucks, so I had to settle for daydreaming of someday going back.

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