The Chinese Buffet in China experience.

The international program coordinators at SWUPL organized a lunch for all the international students and teachers. We were ushered onto a bus and then off across the city. We had no idea what we would be eating, or where – but it would be free. (Students world wide will always agree that you have to love free food!)

After a 20 minute bus ride we had made it to the restaurant where there was a fat statute and a red painted wall with glittery letter spelling out “Four Seas”.  The fat statute (which I failed to get a picture of) was an omen of how everyone would leave feeling.

It was mecca for Americans – a Chinese Buffet, in China. (Something I never thought I’d partake in!) Football fields of food, with corners of food I left unexplored. I stayed away from the Western food, a side full of golden: french fries, chicken nuggets, pizza, and pork roast.  I ate Eastern everything I could, focusing on putting duck in my mouth as many ways as possible – smoked/bbq/stir fried/curried. For fillers I tried spring rolls, curry turnovers, watermelon, and sushi.

The sushi came with REAL wasabi – not the weak horseradish stuff they have in the US. This stuff knocked me on my butt. So strong my eyes teared up – BEFORE it got to mouth.

When I was far too full to be human, I wanted to tap out and nap in the corner. At which point, I felt so much comfort – as if the Four Seas was in Des Moines and I was sitting next to my mother. Doreen, a blond/german/24 year old version of Sheila insisted I go with her to sample desserts. If Doreen and Sheila were to go head to head in some sort of sweet eating contest – I imagine there would be a boxing match over the last piece of chocolate cake, (luckily Sheila has some kickboxing training so she might fare well in the match.)

Doreen managed to sample ALMOST every dessert available (we had to leave or she would have tackled them all), loading them onto trays and schelpping them back to the table – insisting people take bites of them all. I tried to stay on pace but my sweet tooth just wasn’t up to snuff – and because the Chinese haven’t exactly figured out the whole “OVEN” thing yet – nothing really suited my taste buds. (WHERE ARE TEH CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES IN THIS COUNTRY?)

The buffet costs 130 RMB ($20) and came with a scoop of Hagen Daz and endless beer/liquor – so I’m sure we will be going back sometime. Hopefully then there will be more pictures, when my appetite isn’t crying out over my camera and when Doreen doesn’t come with – so there are pictures of things other than dessert.

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