Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gold Collars, Markets, & Cabbages

Another week of learning slipped right past and I hardly even noticed it. There were several times this past week when I thought, "I need to remember this so that I can share it on my blog". Whether it was something funny a student said, a crazy happening in Shenyang, an interesting conversation, or whatever...I had so many things stored in the blogging sector of my brain, that I lost all of the information I wanted to write about.

Thankfully, I took some pictures throughout the week. Many of the pictures were of our students, but I tried to be intentional about taking non-student pictures as well. I was a little foolish and deleted many of my pictures because I thought that I had already uploaded them onto our computer....bummer...

Cabbages and Green Onions---they are everywhere right now! People buy them off of trucks that are piled high and packed tightly with these two vegetables. They leave them outside for many days (perhaps a few weeks...I'm not sure exactly how long) to be dried in the cool air and sunshine. They will use these veggies as a major ingredient in their meals throughout the long winter. I have heard it said that until about ten years ago, the amount of food that was imported to Shenyang over the winter months was not very much--people continued their traditions of drying food to avoid hungry days.

Lots of onions and cabbages can be seen everywhere around our nice apartment complex. It is an accepted practice and respected by all of the residents. I would be worried that my cabbages would be stolen or eaten by animals--but I guess even squirrels respect this tradition.

Even though fresh fruits and vegetables are imported in great supply now, many people choose to continue this discipline of buying cabbage and green onions and drying them before winter sets in. Many older people probably remember times of hunger--storing for the winter has been ingrained into their way of life!

Last weekend, I went to WuAi with one of my good Shenyang friends who is going to help accumulate props for "Treasure Island". We were actually able to buy a few items as we scouted out the market stalls, and were able to barter on some bigger purchases that we will need. Fun things like treasure chests, steering helms, trees, stockades, and maybe even some swords. The only swords we saw that were within our price range were the kinds that are used at wedding to shoot off fire crackers. They have sockets on the tips of the swords where fire crackers can be loaded.

We will possibly use these strange decorations for the island stockade. They aren't the most formidable defense I have ever seen, but they are light and can be stored easily backstage.

Here's a string of pictures taken outside of the main WuAi market buildings...I was just about to buy some wooden buckets that will be used for swabbing the decks.

The wooden buckets....I think they are intended for "spa" like uses, such as soaking your feet.

Autumn means that street-vendors start selling baked sweet potatoes! They smell delicious!

Our radiators still haven't turned on. They are supposed to warm up starting on November 1, although many of the other foreigners in our apartment complex say that their heat turned on several days ago. Our radiators are still as cold as ice! I hope that that changes tomorrow! This year seems a lot warmer than last year's Autumn in comparison....something that I will talk about more in the Spirit Week post.

Adam's computer charger got stuck in this power strip from wouldn't come out no matter how hard we tried! He tried taking it apart with our IKEA tool set, but to no avail. We didn't have the right kind of screw driver tips. Adam said he had never seen screws like that in his life! Finally, he was able to pry his charger out of the power strip!

Last picture is of some noodles that we like to order from a little hole in the wall restaurant close to home. It's extremely cheap, filling, and so yummy! The noodles are handmade at the restaurant too!


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