Life in China

Weekend Update – ‘Lazy’ Sick Days


First of all, sorry for not updating over the weekend. I ended up getting a pretty bad cold from the weather change and pretty terrible pollution last week. Most of the time the pollution isn’t too bad here in Shenzhen, at least not compared with some of the bigger cities up north, but the past week or so it’s been rough. When the pollution is really bad your eyes, nose and throat tend to get itchy and burn slightly. Last week, I could literally taste the chemicals in the air. Pretty gross.

Otherwise, my weekend was pretty good. On Saturday, I slept in quite late which I really hate doing on the weekends since it eats away at so much of time. But, in my defense, I hadn’t been sleeping well due to a stuffy nose and sore throat and, ironically enough, worrying about being sick and not resting enough to get things done. Once I was finally awake, 封 asked if I’d like to get 山西 (Shanxi) food with him, we only had it once before but it’s a nice break from every day fare. Since 封 only speaks to me in Chinese, I didn’t realize he was asking if I wanted to go to the 山西 restaurant that’s kind of far from us until I had already agreed. I had plans to meet up with a group of friends later in the afternoon for trampolining, so I unfortunately and unnecessarily continued being a weekend worry-wart.

The food was delicious as always – it helps to go with someone who grew up eating the food even if he says it’s nowhere near as good as back home (being away from my own mother’s cooking I completely understand).This is what we ordered: noodles, duck wraps (both pictured below), fried dumplings, a lamb-based soup, Chinese cabbage in broth, and a sweet red bean soup for dessert.


One of the really great things about Chinese meals is that you order a bunch of dishes and everyone shares. Not only do you get a chance to try things you’d never order, but you realize you like things you never thought you did. Over the past few years I’ve become truly fond of vegetables, there’s something really amazing about a properly cooked vegetable.

After lunch we had to scramble to find a taxi, traffic was unusually bad for a Saturday and we were both cutting it close (封 for work and me for my trampoline meet-up). Sorry, I forgot to take pictures and video of the trampoline park , I actually meant to vlog but I’ll have to do that next time! Fortunately we’re supposed to go back soon so I’ll do a full post about it next time and link it here. It was ridiculously fun although we were pretty much the only adults in the whole place. Two Chinese kids ended up befriending me and giving me candies and fruit and followed me around the park as we tried out all the different activities.

An hour and a half of jumping later I ran home to shower and rest. All that trampolining can really give you a headache. I was pretty much done for at this point so I cooked up the leftovers from lunch to have for dinner and then passed out pretty fast.

I really overdid it on Saturday and ended up waking up Sunday feeling worse than before, I decided to spend the day not doing anything, but that turned into me deciding to deep clean the house and move furniture around. I really should have slept more because later that night I was feeling so bad I didn’t fall asleep until nearly 5 AM which lead to me having to take a sick day on Monday.

封 had Monday morning and afternoon off and the weather was beautiful, nearly 27 C, so we went out for a walk to get lunch and kill off some of my cold’s leftover symptoms. We only went about 1.5 km before we stopped to get 湖南 (Hunan) food for lunch. If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m obsessed with super spicy food so most of my meals end up being 湖南 or 四川 (Sichuan) food. We arrived at the restaurant around 1:50 PM which is a little late as most restaurants don’t serve food between 2-5 PM. However, the restaurant staff was gracious and prepared our meal for us before sitting down to their own. We ordered 扣肉 (pork belly), 酸辣土豆丝 (spicy shredded potato), and some kind of chicken dish.


Once lunch was finished we slowly walked back to my house where 封 left me to go to work and I decided to play a PC game. This lasted about 10 minutes before I realized I really needed a nap. When I finally woke up around 5 PM, I was feeling so much better and decided that now I really did want to play a game and sat down to do just that. Of course, because I was no longer napping I had disturbed my two kittens who were nestled beside me and ended up spending a lot of the time getting looks like this.


I played a bit longer than I expected too, mainly because I spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out a quest before realizing I wasn’t actually able to complete it yet. 封 messaged around 10 PM to ask me to come to dinner with him and his coworkers, so I headed out to have dinner and try to improve my Chinese listening skills as they all chatted away over dinner. To be honest, it’s really hard to understand what they’re saying. They all come from different parts of China so each has their own slightly different way of saying things, but I still try. Hopefully all this listening will pay off someday and I’ll become a good conversationalist in Chinese. When I got home I finally slept really well for the first time in nearly a week. 明天见 (see you tomorrow)!

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