China Trip Pt 2: Food and the rest

I went to China and now I'm blogging about it! Catch up here:

Pt 1: Flight and the Great Wall
Pt 2: Food and the rest

It's an interesting experience being a Chinese-American and coming to China. We had a tour guide in Beijing, and in his words, it was our roots. For my parents, they were home. For myself, I look like everyone else, but I can't exactly speak like everyone else. I lost that at some point when I began my childhood education and stopped speaking Chinese at home. In Beijing, they speak Mandarin, and in Taishan, they speak a dialect of it (Taishanese). My basic knowledge of the language meant I could only go so far as telling other people in their language, that I couldn't speak their language. Gestures are also very useful.

Tourism is universal, so after our Great Wall hike and lunch, we went to Beijing for a show: "Golden Mask Dynasty." This show is notable for using gallons of water as a part of the show, and it was a delight to watch. As the water rushes in, you can feel the cool air on your face. And later, the water is used as a pond on the very same stage.

The next day, we went to the Forbidden City, notable for its political history and tourists, followed up by a different temple, and then Peking Duck for dinner. That was actually my first experience with Peking Duck, but for the uninformed, it is a form of roast duck, sliced into bite size. You're meant to combine it with other toppings such as chopped onions and hoisin sauce and put it all in a lettuce wrap to eat -- pretty delish.

After this, we took a flight to Taishan, my parents' hometown. We paid respects at the old villages of both of my parents, and did more, you guessed it, eating.

The roast pig is one of the most decadent items you can have in Chinese cuisine. It is often an offering for your ancestors, and it is shared with the ones making the offer as a communal food. The crispy skin combined with the juicy meat makes for a delicious combination.

After we ate our fill, we finally returned home. My wife and I left early, but everyone else continued on to Hong Kong. For another day, HK.

Everybody comes from different backgrounds, and regardless of where you are from, travel widens your view and helps you learn about yourself. I had a great time, and someday hope to do it again.

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Endgame Prep

Behold, mere mortals, the God of Thunder:

Stare into his eyes, and stare into the fury of mother nature herself.

Look away, but only if you dare.

This is but one of the twenty-four (24!) possible Happy Meal toys for Avengers: Endgame. I watched the movie on opening weekend with friends, and in preparation, I watched Infinity War and some other movies. Particularly, the last two Captain America movies, Winter Soldier and Civil War. These two stand out as some of my favorite marvel movies from the last era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The relationship between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes is one of my favorites in the comics, and on my re-reading of it, I never realized that they interact so little with each other.

It's not their interaction that makes the comics compelling. It's their non-interaction, their longing for their friend that makes it such a good comic and makes us want to read more. As the reader we yearn to see their relationship, because and that yearning makes us flip the page. It's comic book angst at its finest.

It's long-form storytelling at its finest, but because of that you would need a great deal of patience to read anything individually. The best way to read this is by binging.

To catch yourself up, read about Ed Brubaker's first 25 issues of Captain America in the omnibus. Then I'll follow up with the next few issues.

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