Life in China: A Picture A Day, March 5, 2016

We walked along the lake to the plaza area for lunch today. There were a lot of people out because the peach trees, magnolias and other blossoms are blooming beautifully right now. People everywhere were taking pictures either of, or with, the blossoming trees. When so many people are out, there are also an abundance of vendors out. Just like back home, I think a favorite of the children are the balloons. The two kinds we saw today were very ornate twisted creations like backpacks and hats, and also simple colored balloons on sticks. I had never seen a vendor dressed as a clown before, clowns don’t seem as popular here as in the USA, so I had to take his picture! A balloon is called a qiqiu 气球, which literally translates as an “air ball. “

Life in China: A Picture A Day, February 16, 2016

Roasted chestnuts! I wish I could take a picture of the way that warm little paper bag feels and smells! But, sorry … I can’t L Roasted chestnuts are my second favorite winter street food after sweet potatoes. I’ve thought of trying to roast them myself and then I think “Why??? These are readily available (except for last night when I asked Jim to get me some at 9PM on a chilly Monday night and the vendors had finished for the day!). So, today when Leah and I were out, we got some. They have a wok style pan with a rotating blade in which the chestnuts are roasted with little black pebbles, supposedly to keep the temperature even. A paper bag full (contents on the plate pictured) costs 15rmb or about $2.30usd. The Chinese also use chestnuts in cooking and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Being gluten intolerant, we regularly use chestnut flour for our baking.