If this wasn't my reason before, it is now. I came for the food.

The thin veil of Altruism and Adventure cannot hide the perfect jiaozi, boiled with eggs, cucumbers and onions tucked neatly inside the hand-crafted dough. And guess who made it? That's right - I did! Actually...

My tutor's mother made the filling and she made the dough. She rolled the dough into little circles and I added the filling and shaped the jiaozi. Essentially I did about 10 percent of the work.

In America we discuss food by asking people what kind they like. For example, we might say, "Do you like Mexican food, Chinese food, Italian food...?"

In China, people also ask what kind of food I like. What kind of CHINESE food. There are not a lot of alternatives. In fact, I am almost certain I couldn't throw a stone and hit a Starbucks or McDonalds. So people might ask: "Do you like sweet food?" or "Do you like spicy, numbing food?"

At a banquet in early November I nearly broke down sobbing after realizing that I had spent 25 years of my life completely ignorant of the deliciousness of Chinese food. I have seen the light.

next post: water buffaloes cross main street in downtown Anshun.

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