Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day of Dumplings

Kiira and I woke up in a frenzy. It was Kiira’s last day in China and we were in one of those LET’S SEE THE WHOLE WORLD IN ONE DAY kind of moods. We packaged our bodies in clothes and grabbed some soup dumplings on the way to the metro.

Dumplings are hand-made and stuffed with pork or vegetables. They steam them and will often fry one side to make it crispy. Soup dumplings are dumplings filled with a pork mixture and a thin broth. When you bite into one, it explodes all over face and takes with it a layer of your skin. The only reason you do not scream in pain is due to embarrassment. I learned to take a little bite, sip some soup out, and then pop the whole thing into my mouth.

We went to Xiandi, the place where communism in China was born. Where radical young men and women…letsgetreal, men and men, got together in underground places to drool over Marx and write little red words in books. I saw where they first drafted important documents. Where they declared capitalism as the greatest evil. Of course now it’s next to a StarbucksNikeMcDonalds where you can get a light hightop no foam with a side of fries.

Then we went to this underground museum of old communist propaganda. It was in an apartment complex and the man who collected tickets was very very happy to explain all of the artwork to us. “See here! Truman with the big red nose! He’s saving the ugly old Korean. It says Americans are stupid!”

Most posters show Mau as a god like sun rising over the east to protect and nurture. I could not take any photos because there were guards everywhere.
For lunch we ate more dumplings, this time filled with red bean paste!

We saw an old Buddhist temple nestled between the skyscrapers. A massive Buddha made entirely of silver sits underneath an unbelievable temple made entirely of intricately carved teak wood. It was mesmorizing.

We rushed back to the hostel because Kiira’s friend was picking us up for dinner. He took us to Old Shanghai which was lit up in celebration of the New Year. This year is the Year of the Dragon. My year.

We ordered more dumplings for dinner. Soup dumplings with crab. There was a long long line to wait for them but they were worth it. I starting a little bit to look like a dumpling.

Then we went to walk along the Bund to watch the lovers look at the advertisements reflecting off the water and to watch the balloon candles float into the sky and explode in the stratosphere.

Zai Jian,


  1. You are a little sweet dumpling!

  2. With lovely big eyes like a baby, cute, cute cute!

    You are a writer! In addition to everything else you are doing, this should be a book!