Cwray's Blog


Seeds and Stems
November 15, 2010, 12:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sunflower Seeds

Those would be sunflower seeds.  Why am I posting a picture of sunflower seeds you ask?  I am doing such a thing because, in my humble opinion, sunflower seeds are one of the top 10 foods eaten in China: everyone eats them.  Picture if you will a good-looking girl walking down the street.  You think to yourself, “here’s a girl I could date, she’s good looking, she has nice eyes, she has…just spit a sunflower seed onto the street.”  Yes, you will see the young, the old, the beautiful and the, well, not so beautiful, spitting seeds while they are walking down the street;  you will see the seeds in piles on both the ground and on tables, you will see them everywhere.   Not wanting to miss out on the action, or the chance to flirt with a lovely lady (“Hey, what flavor seeds are you chewing?  Excuse me while I spit”) I too grabbed some sunflower seeds.  I must admit, the first time I tried some, I was disappointed.  You see, in China they do not have Ranch, dill, and the other flavors I had grown accustomed to.  Instead they have green tea, milk, and various other flavors I have yet to try, and so, on my first attempt at fitting in I picked up milk.  Milk?  Really?  Yes, really, and they were sweet.  And so, disappointed with the seeds they sat on my shelf, practically uneaten, for a month until a few days ago I was running low on food and thought I would try again.  And try I did.  Now I don’t know what happened in that months’ time, maybe it was the various illnesses I have contracted, maybe my tastes are changing, but the bag of seeds was gone in two days.  In one week I have gone through three more bags and I am anxiously awaiting the next grocery store visit so that I might try another flavor of seeds.  You see, I am now hooked on sunflower seeds and am forever changed.  When I return home to the isles of ranch, cheddar, and dill seeds I will be disappointed, perhaps even a bit China-sick (home sick for China) when I don’t see my milk flavored seeds.

My new cup!

The next picture is of my tea-cup.  Pretty nifty eh?  As I’m sure you all now, tea is extremely popular in China.  There are teahouses (and teahouse scams), teas ranging from very cheap, to very, very expensive, teas in all colors, shapes, and sizes.  The majority of the water that people drink here is hot because water has to first be boiled before it can be consumed.  I myself have always enjoyed tea so this is no problem for me, but one of the differences with tea in China is that it is loose leaf, no bags here.  For the past three months I had been drinking tea in a normal cup, doing my best to avoid the leaves and stems, with very little success until one day at the market I decided to buy this cup for around $3.  Now I enjoy my tea without nearly choking on a leaf and my world is that much brighter.

As you can see, China has changed me.  I now grow excited at the prospects of new sunflower seeds and loose leaf teas, but I suppose that is not a bad thing.  Things are different here.   For instance, when choosing a mate, how they spit their seeds is an important thing to know: do they go for distance or do they just let it fall out?  One should know this before saying “I do.” That’s all for today folks, s so from China, I bid you farewell.  Zaijian!

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