The Fruit and Veg Market

After battling through coughs, colds and hangovers we decided to head down to our favourite fruit and veg market.

The pollution level was below 80 so this made the journey down a lot more desirable!

The previous day we plucked up the courage to buy a metro card. This basically saves you from queuing up at the ticket machines and also reducing the cost of the journey from 2RMB to 1.6RMB (20p to 16p or 35c to 25c). This is an absolute bargain compared to prices of public transport in the UK and US. To obtain the card all I had to do was wave, smile and make a square shape with my fingers! I then just said 50RMB (with 5 fingers displayed) and voila, the card was loaded and in my hands.

After a 10 minute tube ride from Xi Bei Jiao to Dong Nan Jiao we got a 5 minute tuk tuk to the fruit and veg market where we bought a huge bag of goodies for a grand total of 32 RMB (£3.20 or $4.80).

It is a great place to go to work on your Chinese numbers and the quality of the produce is excellent. Now all we need to do is figure out which recipes to follow this week.

Mr. T

Tabletop Treats

Something that has been quite foreign to us was that we have no oven in our apartment.  This is very normal for Chinese accommodations but definitely something new for us.  I would say it has had an affect on our culinary adventures as we have felt quite limited by our two hobs.  We decided to treat ourselves today with the purchase of a tabletop oven.  There was a fair selection at Metro (warehouse type shopping that requires a membership) and our first choice was out of stock.  Saying that though we weren’t sure what to base our choice on.  There were no brands we recognised and just a few differences between models.  We decided on one at the lower end of the spectrum, just to see how we liked it and if we would actually make use of it regularly.

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Day 1 and so far so good.  We baked off some frozen baguettes for a lovely bacon and egg sandwich and I have just attempted my first apple crumble.  It looks and smells lovely, Mr T will have to give a verdict on it later.

-Mrs. T

A day of discovery

We set out this morning with the intention of finding a little French bakery around the corner, 6 hours later we arrived home exhausted but with a growing appreciation of our new city!

Tous les Jours turned out to be less than a kilometre away and was a lovely treat of carbs, which have nearly disappeared from our diet since we arrived. Whist I had originally had the intentions of going in to school to get ready for the start of term, adventure beckoned so my classroom could wait until tomorrow.

We decided to jump on the Metro and see what happened. Going on our memory from our city tour we went two stops to find not too much of interested. A little help from Google maps and we realized we needed to go a bit further. Two more stops and a total of 80 pence/$1.30 spent we found ourselves in the pedestrian shopping street. Shop upon shop, and mall after mall there was pretty much anything you could want. I managed to get a few staples at Uniqlo, though a bit off putting that I was buying size XL.

In addition to shopping we got some lessons in toilet habits of Chinese children. We witnessed one baby being held over a plastic bag having a poo, and later a young girl being held up to wee in the bin. All of this in public in the middle of the street!

Any number of food was there as well from McDonalds, KFC, juice and tea shops, Starbucks, Costa Coffee, the list could go on and on. We were able to get a few groceries at Japanese grocer Isetan. A nice combination of home comforts, like Organic Valley milk and a selection of cheeses, and local produce and goods.

Back on the Metro which I have to say was easy to use and ever so clean and we were home within 10 minutes. It was a great day of exploring! We are feeling more and more comfortable and happy in this new city.

Mrs. T