a meal with friends

Chinese people are so hospitable!! When we are invited into their homes, they serve us with all that is within them. Chinese New Year is a time when families invite their friends over to share a meal, and spend time together during the Spring Festival break. Even when our friends have so little (monetarily), they give above and beyond their abilities!

It was a very cold day: every surface was frosted with snow, and it was beautiful. The girls shook the trees, and pretended it was really snowing! Then we caught a taxi to the other end of town to be welcomed into the home of our friends. Their home consisted of an entry way/kitchen, and one room (2 beds, 1 couch, TV). It was the smallest home I have seen yet. This picture isn't the greatest, but it really is a small place!

When we arrive, we take off our shoes & jackets, and we are seated around a low table arrayed with all kinds of sweets, cookies, nuts & breads. Then we are served hot flower tea. Yum! The biggest challenge is keeping curious fingers out of the massive candy dish. Luckily - the girls love cracking open peanuts. The father was constantly offering Coke to the kids, but (thankfully) they don't like carbonated drinks.

We sit and wait while delicious smells waft from the kitchen... The mother made SIX different dishes for our little family! We are given a bowl of rice with chopsticks, and all the dishes are spread across the short table. We all sit around the table and take from the different plates, much like in a Chinese restaurant (but tasting much better!).

Here is our friend - sharing her food with Sydney.

Sydney ate everything! She even loves spicy foods. She insisted on using the chopsticks for everything. She's a little Chinese girl-at-heart. Here are some of the dishes we ate below: Dapanji (chicken+potatoes), Hulu (squash), and Niurou Qiezi (beef+eggplant)...plus others you can't see. It was the best Chinese food we have ever eaten, hands down. The family was so generous & sacrificial. I can't believe they spent so much time & energy to prepare such a feast!

After lunch, they brought out their rabbit (tuzi) for the girls to play with. A&E were terrified, but mom & Sydney had fun with him. I live vicariously thru others who have pets.

It was a wonderful day spent with friends we cherish here!