So my friends and I had this idea for a while about going to Pizza Hut all dressed up and weird-looking because we thought it would be funny. We spent Friday at the silk market looking for strange dresses to wear (there are lots). I ended up finding a black sequined teeshirt mini dress. It's kind of ridiculous looking.
Well, we went to Pizza hut Saturday evening and discovered that it was actually a pretty fancy place. It was so huge!
My friends Sydnie and Colleen in front of Pizza Hut.
These classy things were the Pizza Hut menus. I don't even recall Pizza Hut having menus in the US. I think you just tell them what kind of pizza you want. But here they had all kinds of crazy gourmet pasta dishes, coffee drinks, and desserts. The pizza part took up only 4 pages, and they were all kind of strange types. We did order pepperoni though! It was exciting. We've tried to find pepperoni at other places, but none of them offered it. Or even knew what it was. All the vegetable pizzas here have corn. The Chinese love their corn. In the store on campus they sell corn popsicles and corn-flavored yogurt. I mean, we don't even have those in Nebraska...
This was the inside. I could not get over how unPizza Hut-like this place was.
Yes yes, that is escargot. At Pizza Hut.
Sydnie, Stephanie, and I at our table. James, Colleen, and Gabrielle were on the other side. You can't quite see the ridiculousness of my sequined dress from this angle, but you can kind of get the idea. The funny thing is that people in the dorm before we left kept complimenting me on it. I really wanted to tell them that this entire outfit was a joke. That was Saturday.
Then Sunday, I went with my friend/chinese tutor William to his aunt and uncle's apartment for dinner. I had told him last week that I wanted to see real China, not just the tourist and ex-pat areas. So he called up his aunt and uncle who live in Beijing and they were happy to have us over. They live right across the street from all the Olympic venues! It was crazy.
For dinner we had jiaotzi (dumplings). I even got to help the grandparents make them! They put a coin in one of the jiaotze, and whoever got the coin would have good luck. Well, the coin ended up in the bottom of the pan, but I got a jiaotze that was broken, so I guess I'm lucky now :). The food was so amazing. It was great to eat a homecooked meal. They kind of laughed at the way I use chopsicks, though. They tried to teach me the proper way, but I kind of failed. I'm going to practice so I'm not a fake chopstick-user.
After dinner we walked over to the olympic park. Right by the bird's nest and water cube! At night it's so amazing because everything is lit up and brightly colored. William said that his aunt and uncle take a walk there every evening after dinner. Can you imagine that?
I gave his cousin the NE football pez dispenser, and she absolutely loved it. I had William explain the whole "nebraska = crazy football people" thing to them for me (here it's called gan lan qiu. gan lan means olive....it must have something to do with the shape of the ball). It's kind of difficult with my vocabulary haha. She played with the thing the rest of the night. Then she and her dad showed me how to solve one side of a rubix cube. I'm still not sure I can do it on my own, but she gave me one to practice with.
Their family was so great and so welcoming. I am so glad that I got to spend time with a real chinese family, with no tourism agenda (unlike the families we stayed with in Yunnan). They kept saying that I should come back and visit.
Mamie, William, and me
Me and his uncle's family
All of us except for the grandparents. They went to bed pretty early.
They were so warm and generous, willing to share their home and food with me. I was really glad I got to spend time with them. That was definitely one of the best evenings I've had since coming to China.