> trappings of winter

trappings of winter

2010-12-16 - jjackunrau

It’s gotten cold around here. Last night it snowed in Chengdu. The internet says we’re somewhere around 4 degrees outside right now. Which isn’t bad if you have well-insulated buildings and heating, but is mighty shitty if things are otherwise.

Holly has an air conditioner in her apartment which is also a heater, but we can’t run it at night because it’s kind of noisy and it keeps her neighbours up. They left a note on the door about “their bedroom shaking” after the one night we did turn it on. So it’s all about the multiple blankets, which gets inconvenient if you ever want to leave the bed. For food, say.

Although today we did make some good soup/stew/vegetables. We bought the vegetables to make this soup yesterday because of the soup stock Sam’s mom brought us, but when lunchtime rolled around the water to the apartment had been cut off for some reason. It’s hard to make soup without any water. (Also, pooping into a hole you can’t flush brings cholera epidemics to my mind, so it was kind of an uncomfortable day.) The water was restored at like 10pm but before that we bought soup from a nearby restaurant that Holly is rapidly losing faith in. Today we cooked our soup in the rice cooker for hours until really there wasn’t much soupiness to it at all, but it was tasty.

I’ve been getting some writing done but nothing’s going as smoothly as I would like. The story I was working on turned out to be crappy. No, just uninteresting. So I’m repurposing the good details that I had into something else which is interesting. Moreso. I hope.

We went for hotpot the other day and it was some special style of hotpot using a copper pot with a chimney and coals instead of a gas flame. I love mushrooms in hotpot but for some reason, though we had a tray full of them, mushrooms were the last things to get dumped into the cauldron. I had to brave so many unpleasant mouthfuls of bony fish before we got to the stuff I enjoyed.

It’s also really nice having a girlfriend at hotpot who likes stuff like duck intestines so I can pass them off to her when our hosts were placing the choicest entrails in my bowl. Thank you Holly. I don’t know why duck intestines are so cringe-inducing in me, when I can eat those shredded stomachy bits with impunity. Probably because I ate those stomachs for so long before realizing they weren’t a kind of chewy mushroom.

air conditioner bones chengdu cholera cold duck fish food heat holly hotpot insulation intestines mushrooms nanchong neighbours poop repurposing sam's mom sichuan snow soup vegetables water winter