Hi Everyone,
Please don’t forget my new blog is now at: http://anniegurumi.com

Please update your RSS and come say hi!!! :)

My awesome SIL made/designed the cutest blog EVER for me!!!!! And guess what? It’s not blocked in China so I’ll be blogging there from now on!

Please update your RSS feeds to:

http://anniegurumi.com

I have my own URL! Thanks Jenny!!! I love you!!!

I’ll keep my old blog entries here but I will be exclusively over there, thank you so much for visiting!

It’s Thanksgiving here in China and we have been desperately looking for a place to eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal. All the places I’ve found were around $300USD and that’s a little much for us. But it’s ok because Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks, showing gratitude and love.

To my dear Husband: I still can’t believe you love me as much as you do. How did I get so lucky? You always make me so happy, you provide for us and you never, ever get mad at me. You are the epitome of love and I love you endlessly. Thank you for being the best. :)

To my BFF HJ: You are my sister and have been my BFF through the thick and the thin of life. You never gave up on me and I know you never will. You always keep me afloat and I am always amazed at how much you are here for me, even when you are half a world away. I sometimes feel like I don’t deserve you because you are the most amazing friend, so giving and always understanding. But I’m selfish and keep you all to myself. lol You are incredible. I love you so very much.

To my SIL/BIL: When I had breakdowns about not having a family… you both took great care of me. I am thankful to have YOU as a family. You guys picked me up when I was down and I miss seeing you guys everyday. Jenny – I still remember when I broke down, you cried with me, hugged me and gave me a brownie. I will never forget that moment because you made me feel better when I never thought I could.

To my NCMC family: NYC was awesome because of our friendships. I don’t know anyone who has a group of friends like we do, I love you all and I am thankful for all of you. I never knew that I could have friends where it feels like family, like a giant family that I’ve always wanted. Thank you so much.

To my nieces Claire and Aerin: I love you both so very much. I can’t even begin to explain how much I miss you Claire. Aerin, I am so sad I didn’t get to meet you before we moved but you are so beautiful!!! Both of you must be good to your Mom and Dad because they truly are wonderful people and they love you so much.

I am very blessed in my life. I have so many friends that I wish I could individually name here on my blog but the list would never end. I want to thank all my friends who have always been there for us. I am so thankful for you guys and life wouldn’t be fulfilling with yous. Although we are in China and most of our friends in America and Hong Kong… I just want to say, I love you all. I mean it. All of you.

Hi everyone! We are in Hangzhou again. Between Hangzhou and Shanghai… We clearly eat well and dessert is definitely called for.

My mother in law (who is from Hong Kong) makes amazing dessert. We found a Hong Kong dessert chain and have been there quite a few times. Every time we ate there I thought of her and how much I miss her.

A lot of the desserts I ate were some sort of fruit in coconut milk. I love coconut milk so much and that is my favorite type of Cantonese desserts!

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The hubs had a milk dessert that he loves in Hong Kong but he said it wasn’t too great in Shanghai.

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My coconut milk and fruits and mochi! (though I could have done without the mochi)

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Side note: I have to add that I am crocheting a blanket for a friend. :) and… on to more desserts!

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The hubs had yin yang: tofu fa and black sesame paste. He said to get it hot, not cold! I agree.

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This one had fruit and grass jelly in coconut milk. I normally love grass jelly but didn’t enjoy it in the coconut milk. It tasted weird to me.

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Coconut milk, melons and sago. So refreshing on hot days.

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And finally we had mango pudding. It reminded me so much of the hub’s Uncle and Auntie who passed away this year. His Uncle was a well respected chef in Chinatown (NYC) and he was especially known for his mango pudding. While we ate this we talked about how we missed them and how we could have spent more time with them. His Auntie has a special place in my heart as she was the first person in the family I met while I was dating the hubs. She took me in with open arms, she loved me and even though at the beginning we couldn’t understand each other… she always hugged me and told the hubs he got a great girl. :)

I can’t wait for friends to visit so we can go eat all this yumminess. We have been enjoying the food in both hangzhou and shanghai…. That’s or sure. :) Updating the blog is so difficult because it’s blocked in China and the VPN is unstable. So… if you see some un-finished updates, I apologize! Please be patient with me. This also explains why I haven’t commented on people’s blogs because most of them are blocked here and I can’t access them without our VPN. :( I miss everyone!

So I had to get lunch by myself today and since I can’t speak a lick of Mandarin other than: Hello, Thank you, Receipt, Good bye… I knew it would be challenging. Here’s what happened today.

Food Lady: *something in Mandarin… probably “Can I take your order”*

Me: “chai dan” (Menu) and makes hands look like a menu

Food Lady: hands me menu

Me: Points to sandwich while holding up my finger to say I want one.

Food Lady: *something in Mandarin while pointing at the combo portion*

Me: Nodding, saying yes (hao) that I would like that

Food Lady: *something in Mandarin in the form of a question (ma?)*

Me: Motioning that I don’t understand what she is saying, trying to hand her money

Food Lady: *refusing my money, making a sound like she’s about to spit with her hands around her mouth*

Me: Uh….. *wondering if she’s ok*

Food Lady: *again, making a sound like she’s about to spit with her hands around her mouth looking at me*

Me: ni hao boo hao ma? (are you ok?… I think?)

Food Lady: *she looks fine, says something in Mandarin… “la mah?” is all I can catch*

Me: Oh! La? (remembering that means spicy in Cantonese and hoping it means the same thing) I make a face that I think implies spicy and using my hand to fan my mouth.

Food Lady: *she makes the same sound and same hand motions*

Me: yao (I think this means I want spicy since I have no idea what she’s saying)

Food Lady: *she just takes my money, hands me cash*

So I take my food and sit down and wondered what just happened. I take a bite of my lunch and I think I guessed right because it was pretty spicy. I guess this is more funny to me since her taking the time to actually ask me if I want it to be spicy despite our language barrier. I sat and ate my food with a smile on my face… Even though I can’t understand anyone (nor can they understand me)… they really do try hard to communicate. That makes me happy.

But you know what doesn’t make me happy? Squat toilets. I don’t know how to pee in those things and for some reason in China… even if there’s a toilet stall right next to the squat stall and both are empty. They choose the squat toilet. I always go for the sit down toilet…. or if they don’t have a sit down toilet. I hold my pee like nobody’s business and find a bathroom with a toilet. I don’t know how to squat and pee. Sigh.

Hi everyone! It’s been a while huh? Well, we have been traveling back and forth between Shanghai to Hangzhou. I am so tired of living out of a hotel and eating out for every meal. It’s starting to show, as I lost some weight.

I’ve also been sick and had to go to the hospital here in Hangzhou. I felt so helpless and scared, had to call the hubs at work to take me. I’m all better with medication now. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be in an expat hospital.

So since there isn’t much I can do other than reading the Hunger Games series. (I’m on book 3, go Peeta!) I brought one skein of yarn with me from home so I made a hat for the Hub’s coworker’s little boy.

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I followed my owl hat pattern somewhat and added a pom pom. I had to make due with what I had, one color. But I think it turned out really well. I felt sane again having the crochet needle and yarn in my fingers. But you know what I miss the most? My piano and cello which are waiting for whenever we are moving in.

Just wanted to say a quick hello and share what I’ve been up to. I miss all my family and friends but we are doing well here. :)

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and I’m living in Shanghai. So naturally, I will go to any store that sells Korean accessories. (lols) The funny part is that I actually bought two scarves from here that were pretty and soft for under $10USD. Yay! And it was crazy to me that everyone at this market immediately spoke Korean instead of Chinese to me.

I’m guest blogging at GeekinHeels! Jenny is my SIL and I miss her and the family so much after moving to Shanghai. Go over to her blog and see the decorations I made for her daughter’s (my beautiful niece, Claire) first birthday. Her blog is awesome, she’s awesome, so go subscribe to her blog if you haven’t already. :) The gifts I crocheted for Claire’s first birthday: you can see them here!

Got to wave “hi” to her on webcam last night. Totally filled up my heart seeing her again!

Hope everyone’s well and wish us luck as we are in the middle of finding out whether or not we are getting the apartment we want here in Shanghai. :) Then we won’t have to live out of a hotel and actually have a home!!

Friends, our move to China has been relatively smooth considering we have been here two weeks today.

There are some things I’ll just never get used to:

-people spitting on the street
-people digging for the gold and by gold I mean boogers… At a nice restaurant and it’s not rude at all. I even made a video about it, click HERE to view
-nobody takes any kind of American credit card here, China has their own credit card system which generally doesn’t include visa or MasterCard

However, I can never get enough of:

-how every single meal we eat, costs less than one of our meals back home
-it is so ridiculously clean here. I don’t see a single piece of trash on the streets
-every single meal is extremely delicious
-there is so much history here, so it’s an endless learning experience

So back to food:

We ate at a place that serves traditional Shanghainese food yesterday. I had everything but the pan fried pork buns before and it was my first time trying them at our meal. It was really crispy and yummy!

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We also had the soup dumplings, which I’ve had many times here in Shanghai. They were juicy and the soup was nice. The ones I’ve eaten in NYC are so much bigger than here.

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The hubby had a spicy noodle soups with beef. It was good but I think a bit oily for my taste:

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I had the wonton soup with no noodles. Again, the dumplings are so tiny here! It’s actually so adorable to see things miniature.

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I’m finally over my cold/flu and feeling back to my chipper self! It’s so difficult when you’re sick and on top of that being in a foreign country…. Especially since I’m not Chinese. But as soon as we move into an apartment, my lessons will start!

In the meantime… I’ll be eating my way through Shanghai and Hangzhou!

Hi everyone. We’re in Hangzhou which is about a 45 min train ride from Shanghai. I know what you’re thinking… “What?! You’re on vacation already and you just moved to Shanghai?”

No.

We’re actually here because the hub’s work sent him here for work. So naturally I tagged along and wanted to see all the beautiful things (especially West Lake) that my guidebook mentions. I have to say… people speak even less English than Shanghai here. It can be frustrating for me since I can’t speak or understand anyone. Plus I don’t really have friends here who I can talk to like I do with my girlfriends. (I miss you girls! All of you!) So I felt pretty defeated today and cried at breakfast. Ha. I laugh because it was just vent crying since I’m sick, I’m feeling a little alone (but not lonely, if that makes sense) and I miss having a home. But I know in time, we’ll have an apartment, I will have friends and I’ll finally be able to speak Mandarin.

Remember how I said before… whenever I feel down, miss something or sad here… there’s always something good that happens? Well the hubs and I walked to his work this morning and he pointed out the building that was across the street:

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A close up:

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Ah, China. Every single time I feel remotely sad… you come in and make me feel better. I didn’t know that Charlie Sheen has his own building here in Hangzhou. ;) I have to admit, I laughed so much seeing this building and then all was good in my world again.

The Japanese food is outstanding here. The day after we flew in, our friend Kin took us to an all you can eat shabu-shabu place. It wasn’t too far from our hotel, which was in the Shanghai Center, though he drove us. I took a lot of pictures so please stay with me.

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We went to Mo-Mo-Paradise. They have several locations and guess what? Yup! Kin had a groupon type thing that got us an insane deal.

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As you can see from the menu, it’s already a steal for all you can eat (within 100 minutes). We had two broths since there were three of us.

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These were the different kinds of broths you can choose from. Kin, being the expert in delicious eats, chose the broth. A rule of advice, whenever you’re with Kin, we let him order. You know why? Because, it’s we know that it’s going to be epic and delicious. So if you’re ever friends with him (and you are so lucky if you are, he’s awesome) let him order!

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These are all the items you can order for your actual pot. We loved the fatty beef and we got so much veggie that I think we fulfilled our fiber quota for the year.

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And thankfully I took a picture of the location we ate at but I’m sure you could find locations near to wherever you are. I believe they are online so do a quick search for them.

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They give you an appetizer in the beginning. The top left is Japanese yam called nagaimo. It’s one of my favorite things to eat, when you grate it (or in this case it’s in sticks), it becomes a sticky paste. That really sounds disgusting but I love it. There was also a salted egg, mushrooms and a shrimp sushi.

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The amazing and delicious spicy miso broth that tastes very similar to Korean miso soup and our meat.

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Doesn’t this look heavenly?

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This place is known for making their own noodles. We had both the udon and the ramen but we love the ramen the best. (picture here) It was the right amount of chewiness and held up well in the soup.

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And after you eat till your stomach’s content… they give you green tea ice cream that is just sweet enough with a little tartness. And top it off with some azuki beans (red beans) that are so soft and sweet. Normally I dislike red beans but this was really good.

There was a lot more Japanese we ate but this was already a picture heavy post. I’ll update more on the Japanese food we ate another time!

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