the other side.

i’ve always thought that china didn’t really seem to have a middle class. the idea of an “upper middle class” didn’t really seem to exist and there always appeared to be such a disparity between the poor and the rich. it’s pretty interesting to see really developed parts of beijing that are just a couple of streets from little houses where there are no bathrooms and no air conditioning. yesterday, the (distant?) cousin i’m staying with took me to The Village, a really nice part of the city that is pretty westernized.

there were a ton of different restaurants ranging from an american bar/grill to thai food to vietnamese food to a place called “element fresh” that basically served fresh pastas/salads. we considered a few places before settling on sichuan food at a really nice restaurant.

we ordered to 丝瓜(si gua) stalks [apparently this vegetable is called luffa in english…weird], tofu and crab eggs/innards, and, my most exotic dish thus far in china, spicy pig’s feet! now, i know chinese people eat a lot of weird things but i tend to stay away from weird stuff like rabbit or frog’s legs but i decided to give the pig’s feet a try. after all, it was the only meat dish on the table…the texture is a lot like 肥肉(fei rou aka fatty meat) WHICH I LOVE! so it was really good! the tofu/crab dish was also delicious.

it was pretty clear that this restaurant was a bit upscale. not only was the menu essentially a forty page book with beautiful pictures, the service was really good! there was even free water(!!!), which is hard to come back in china restaurants. the service was so good that somebody even escorted me to the bathroom because it wasn’t actually in the restaurant. as if that wasn’t enough, she held out a paper towel for me after i finished washing my hands. ridiculous.

afterwards, we wandered around the nice shopping area and came upon a store that sold a ton of fragrances. these weren’t just ANY fragrances though, they had everything ranging from snow to earthworm to mango to cucumber to chocolate chip cookie. the dessert ones (they also had pumpkin pie and ice cream sundae!) all smelled SO GOOD. earthworm was pretty strange but laundromat will forever be one of my favorite scents.

later, i tried on some wigs at the wig store to see what i would look like with short hair. thinking about getting another haircut here soon but not sure if i’m ready to chop it all off. and after the wig store, not too sure i like the idea of short hair on me… i also finally got to watch Kung Fu Panda 2!! in 3D!! and the movie was in english! YAY

but before the movie, we went to McDonald’s (which is a pretty big deal in china) and got red bean McFlurry’s! i can’t remember the last time i got a McFlurry in the states, but it was interesting to have an asian infused one! there were still mini oreo chunks in it and the soft serve was not bad. a bit pricey for ice cream in china considering i can get popsicles for one yuan but it was still pretty good. plus, the cup had kung fu panda on it and our server was wearing panda ears!

and just a side note: KUNG FU PANDA 2 WAS A GREAT MOVIE!! go watch it.

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