Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Daniel's 23rd Birthday!

After classes on Wednesday, Daniel and I headed downtown for Chinese class. Since it was our last class of the semester, our teacher brought our class some "xiao chi" or snacks to try. She brought beef jerky, a pomelo (which looks like a huge grapefruit but tastes a lot sweeter and not tart at all), and little round dough cakes filled with green beans. One of our classmates also brought some small egg custard tarts with flaky dough things. We spent the class eating and going over our final, which we took the week before.

We left class a little early to head to HuaQiangBei, which is an area in Futian that is filled with every kind of electronic equipment you could ever want. I needed a new computer cord, and luckily Daniel spotted an HP store right away, which made finding the right cord a whole lot easier!

We made our way to Luohu, where we went to one of the nicest shopping malls in all of Shenzhen called the Mix-C. Inside of the Mix-C is a really nice grocery store called Ole, which is where we get all of our imported groceries. We bought everything we would need for a Mexican fiesta, which we were going to have the next day in honor of Daniel's birthday!

After we were done checking out at the Mix-C, we could finally head next door to the Grand Hyatt, where we were planning to have a nice dinner to celebrate Daniel's birthday! We had planned to go to the Italian restaurant inside of the Grand Hyatt, but much to our surprise, it hadn't opened yet! Instead, we went to a different restaurant inside of the hotel called "The Show Kitchen". It turned out to be another all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant, with DELICIOUS food! We ate so many different types of food... sushi, tempura, yakitori, bread, cheese, pizza, steak, lamb, french fries, onion rings, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, fruit, ice cream, cake, and more... but our favorite thing was definitely the made-to-order mini hamburgers!! They were soooo good!! On top of the tasty food, the service was excellent! Every waiter and waitress was so friendly and helpful. Also, the restaurant is set-up so that there are four areas where each type of food is cooked right where you can watch the chefs (hence the name)!  It ended up being a great meal, and I think Daniel really enjoyed his birthday dinner!

The next day, we had Daniel's second birthday dinner! Mexican food is hard to come by here in Shenzhen, but we can make some really good fajitas, guacamole, and salsa on our own!  Daniel has a pretty long day on Thursday, but luckily, I don't have any Thursday afternoon classes, so I could start our fiesta while he was gone. As a special birthday surprise, and since Daniel didn't have a birthday cake, I made some homemade chocolate chunk cookie dough instead!

I actually ended up having to go back to school because Daniel and I had to help judge a Junior 1 (my students) storytelling contest. Some of the stories were fables with morals, and we even knew a few of the stories, like "The Princess and the Pea" and "The Giving Tree". The 16 contestants had to memorize their whole story and perform them in front of all 320ish of their peers! They all did a really good job... I was very impressed!

After the show was over, we finally got to enjoy Daniel's birthday fiesta and chocolate chunk cookies! We spent the rest of the evening packing and getting ready to leave for Harbin the next day!

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