Aikido & wedding

1 05 2011

Saturday April 23rd, in Hangzhou, I participated to my first Chinese wedding.

Hangzhou special fried bunThe morning of Saturday we also had a great breakfast in a chain shop where they make some special Hangzhou fried bun (生煎包子, Shēng jiān bāozi), full of soup: the first time I had them, in 2009, I made a mess of myself! The soup inside is really hot, so you must learn the technique: make a little hole and suck slowly the soup out, then dip the dumpling in the vinegar and eat. If you bite the full dumpling, it will explode pouring the hot soup down your throat and probably splashing all over your clothes as well.. Actually the name of the chain is: 咬不得高祖生煎 (Yǎo bùdé gāozǔ shēng jiān), where the important part of the name is 咬不 (Yǎo bù) with the meaning here of do not bite!! Another common Hangzhou baozi is called xiaolongbao, 小笼馒头, but the fried ones for me are the best!!

Vicky & Michael's wedding partyThe main part of the weekend was anyway taken again by the Aikido, while the wedding was a little turn down: it was not so traditional, quite the opposite! But the couple is a young modern one, so it was my mistake expecting too much a Chinese wedding..

In truth, I was the one overdressed and more Chinese looking!! I was wearing a great Taiwanese shirt, very elegant, present of a friend from the past. But I have realized now I do not have any good picture of me with that shirt on!! Most of the other people where in normal shirt and jeans (ok, I also was wearing jeans). 潘蕾 was overdressed as well, wearing a very girlish and very summer white dress and pink shoes.. very girlish for her!! 🙂 And quite nice to see as well!! 😉 In the picture on the side, if you wonder, the groom is the one drinking with the bride in white, not the super elegant.. toastmaster 😉

Anyway, the day of the wedding party, Saturday, started with a 3 hours Aikido session, of which I took one hour and another instructor took the rest. But the Aikido details are elsewhere 😉 Quite nice that also 潘蕾 took part of Aikido session.

Vicky & Michael's wedding partyThe wedding reception took place in the same hotel where we stayed, so after the shower we could just go down and meet the couple, 王天 and 王丹, Michael and Vicky. A few pictures, several for them with all the people arriving, but all very relaxed and Vicky playing all the time. And then really tons of very good food at the restaurant buffet. From sushi to really good meat and very enjoyable Asahi beer! Some new food discovery, this time with a new fruit, called in Chinese 枇杷, pípá, or, the officail name, loquat (!! never heard !!).

As entertainment, lots of videos, and pictures from Michael and Vicky trips, some funny Aikido situations (like Lydia throwing around a few boys and using this as an advertisement about why wives should practice Aikido!)..

After dinner I admit I fell asleep with my full belly, as an old man, and I missed some parts of the Chinese games for the newly wed, like Michael and Vicky switching clothes! 🙂 I anyway saw the pics 😉

Sunday was again a good mix of Aikido and good food.

mixed soup

mixed soup

fish skin, 鱼皮 (Yú pí)

fish skin

Typical Hangzhou, even if this time there were less people on the mats, and less people for the dinner, but Dunne, 潘蕾 and me had anyway a great meal.. with several new things for me!!! During that dinner I had for the first time silk worms (柞蚕, zuò cán ) and a dish based on (as I have been told).. broken squid eggs, that are white, slimy things (not sure I will ever try them again!!). For the second time I had sea cucumber (海参, hǎi shēn), in a dish that was combining pork tongue, pork stomach, some squid and some parts of the sea cucumber in a supposedly spicy soup (not that spicy at the end).

silk worms (柞蚕, zuò cán )

silk worms

squid eggs

squid eggs

Post dinner, waiting for the train, I had a relaxing time in a coffee chain shop quite popular in Hangzhou, called C.Straits (两岸咖啡武林路店, liǎnɡ àn kā fēi wǔ lín lù diàn). They had in the menu Italian coffee with Bialetti, that of course I tried, with a quite good lemon cake. Coffee was ok, but in Perfetto is better!

A nice weekend, and I hope to be back soon, not for other weddings, but for more Aikido!!

..and maybe a day not too far in the future, for living there as well!

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One response

2 08 2011
kat

I love those Hangzhou fried buns! Here, all the Chinese dumpling houses are terrible! Over the years, they have skimped on quantity and quality! If you had those buns here, you wouldn’t have to worry about the soup gushing out because there isn’t any! And nowadays, they don’t even bother putting the onions or sesame seeds on the buns. You are so lucky you get to eat such amazing yummy Chinese food! Oh, you can also eat with a spoon to catch the liquids 🙂

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