Day 21 - Day of Rest

Note the Green Circle on the Left.
(Hint: It's a coffee shop)
Sunday, February 28th, 2016
Smog Level: 2 Mountains

Allow me to skip all the boring stuff: work, napping, and lounging. It is Sunday, after all.

I meet up with Shimou, Luke, Silvia at “Mint,” a restaurant in a well-known Beijing Mall, “Joy City.” Though I didn't know the name at the time, we’ve been here on before (Day 11), but not to this particular restaurant. 

Going to a restaurant with friends in North America, we tend to get our own dishes and share minimally. It’s different in China. Chinese people tend to order several dishes and share it all, leaving whatever isn’t eaten. No take out. It seems to be a common, unspoken perspective that you don’t take food home, and you almost never reheat food. As Luke put it in the past, “It’s just not tasty.”

Over dinner they speak mostly mandarin, but I’m able to catch a few more things than usual. Whenever I’m with Luke, I feel like my mandarin is getting to a comfortable level, but I think it’s just because I’m comfortable with him. I'm less afraid of looking or being stupid. He’s the type of guy who generally acts like he’s annoyed with you, but you can tell he actually likes you.

Everyone but me was unimpressed by the meal. I’m not as picky, I think, being willing to try most anything. We hop over to some dessert place that they used to frequent in high school. Luke said he went there all the time in high school, and Silvia echoed the sentiment. “Yeah, you were with me.” Luke replied.

Most of us ordered vanilla shaved ice with various other things mixed in. Mine came with blueberries and a scoop of berry ice cream, while Silvia’s was chia seeds and some sort of fruit. Shimou got fruit bathed in mango sauce, and Luke… No idea. It was gone so fast! (kidding, I just didn't pay attention)

I suggest that Luke (a.k.a. Lukey-Loo, Tony, Big T, Tone, The Beef, JTL, James, Jimmy, Jim Jim, UnSlim Jim) should start a food blog. He is picky with the places he likes, and seems to have a refined palate. He says he will definitely do it. Looking forward to that debut, JTL!

The mall is closing. If you don’t speak mandarin, this can be a problem sometimes. All obvious doors will have U-locks on the door handles and it can be difficult to find an alternative way out. We hop in a cab. This is the last time we’ll see Luke for some time, as he’s not returning to China for another year. We drop him off, have a quick, tearful goodbye, and zoom off into the night.

I put my chair back as soon as he got out “did you have to do it right away!?” Silvia semi-jokes. Silvia was next to be dropped off, leaving Shimou and I with the uber driver. He speaks with us, saying my and Shimou’s future will be great together. He thinks we should start a business together. He goes on to tell me I should be able to speak Mandarin within 3 months (What?!) and gives Shimou unsolicited advice about putting herself first and not making her life all about her man. I somewhat agree with the sentiment, and can see that could be a common problem here, but that kind of unsolicited advice could be considered rude. Generally a nice man, though!

Words of the day:
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
Too Much - tài (dūo) [exactly how it looks: tie duo]
Too Little - tài (shǎu) [rhymes with eye how]
Old - lào [rhymes with pow]
Young - nián qīng [nyan ching]
Back (direction) - hòu [hoe]

Editing Music
Shine a Light

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