Thursday, April 19, 2007

Finding My Way Through

Dalian has been hard city to get to know, as there are so many underground markets, outdoor markets and night markets - oh and all the signs are in Chinese.

As I do not know Chinese (don't ask how language classes are going), I have to rely on people I meet along the way to help me find the things I need.

Earlier this week I met with a woman who knows the city quite well. She told me about a flower market that sells herbs (mint, rosemary, basil). I can't describe in words how happy I am at the thought of having my own herb garden. Finding fresh herbs in the markets has proven near impossible.

I've also been on a hunt for large carpets (in an effort to protect Chase from our hard, marble floors). YP is on the lookout, so we should have the carpet thing sorted next week.

And then there is the fact that I just can't find ingredients for Western recipes (I used to think I had it bad in Zurich - not so).

So today I went shopping again with my friend Ruth; she really knows her way around this town. She took me to a little market, under a park, that smelled of fish - no wonder, as I found out later that it is "the" place to go for fish.

On the floor above the fish market, she showed me a little shop that sells mozzarella cheese (one of only two shops you can buy it) - along with some other Western ingredients.

She then took me to another shop and asked one of the shop ladies for cupcake cups (whoa!). The lady dug around under a table covered in various dried and salted things and pulled out a couple packages. Crazy stuff.

Ruth also let me know that there is a place where you can buy cinnamon rolls. But you have to buy them on the right day, as they make them once every three days. She called me this afternoon to tell me they are fresh today, so I should mark my calendar.

Should I be concerned that I am counting down the days to a fresh batch of cinnamon rolls - or that I have to go to a fish market to buy mozzarella cheese?

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