Jeff and I escaped from the
land of the weird and will be in the states his summer. My luggage stayed in
We made a quick stop in Los
Angeles, then flew on to Chicago.
I forgot how diverse America
On the block I use to live
(Boystown/Wrigleyville) you can get Turkish,
Italian, American, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Greek, and Mexican all within
While my taste buds might
crave these acid reflux emporiums, the only thing I truly miss while living in China
is my mom.
I’m up visiting her now in a little cottage in Charlevoix, Michigan.. We’re
eating at the same establishment every day.
Her kitchen table.
But it wasn’t always that
way. Last summer, this eighty-one going on four year old started this quirky
habit of eating in bed.
I’m not talking a light
breakfast in the morning, but half gallons of ice cream, midnight snacks of rotisserie
chickens, even asparagus spears.
But last week, at the cabin
where we are staying, there was a bear sighting. Really! Two of the teen girls
who stay at the cottages saw a black bear poking around in the woods.
The thought of having a bear
crawl in her bedroom window has put the kabash on my mom’s nocturnal nibbling.
At least, temporarily.
Hopefully, we’ll have other epicurean adventures that might require attire other than flannel pajamas.
Jeff and I
are about to board a plane to the States this summer for food, fun and family.
But before we leave China, we have to fill our suitcases with a few souvenirs. We got dried duck tongue jerky for the kiddies,
electric fly swatting tennis rackets, classic chenglish t-shirts. And oh yes,
But the best
stuff of all came from Chinese Pickers.
If you’re familiar
with the TV show American Pickers, well this place is the Yunnan equivalent.
fashioned swap meet is on the eastern corner of Kunming City Center, tucked
behind red walls that actually look like China.
You can find
stuff made in China that you can’t get at wal-mart, including a tapestry of Mao
and opium pipes.
get this for my father in-law? I’ll see if they have one of George W.
lots of funky relics, including jade beads, bronze buddhas
and dragon shaped worry stones. They may not the
best quality or even real, but every piece looks has an interesting story to tell. A snuff box might have survived the cultural revolution. A worry stone could’ve endured a dunk in a
An antique fish shaped lock is most likely an fake-tique, but who cares. It’s still cool.
pull out a little plastic stool for you to squat on while you bicker over the prices.They pull out their cell phones using the calculator
function so you can punch in the price you are willing to pay.
Haggling is a
true art form in any language. Needless to say, I’m no Picasso. I’m more like the five year old who still eats crayons.
Long story short, I paid more
than what I should for a Mao snuff box, but still less than I’d pay on Ebay.
Even if it’s not genuine, the Mao snuff box is genuinely cool.
I also got a jade worry stone for a good friend. It’s about the size of a baby mango. The lady who sold it to me didn’t look worried at all.
. However, I did resist the “antique” Casio watch and
this man’s flute. He tried hard to get me to buy both.