Day one of Chinese New Year (CNY) a chinese family is at the home of the husband’s family. Day two they are with the wife’s family. Day three is set aside for friends and co-workers. After spending day one with our orphanage “family,” we were thrilled to spend day three with some of Bryan’s fellow teachers at the university.
We went thinking we were prepared for an afternoon of food and celebrations that started with Chinese New Year gifts. For us dried dates and a packaged dried duck. Yes, you read that right. An entire duck, bone and all, pressed, salted dried and shrink wrapped in a package that is now only an inch thick. I have it in hand and still can not really fathom it. Never seen anything like it. We handed out oranges (a common CNY gift) and apple pie (not so common as you can imagine.) They weren’t sure what to do with the sweet gooey dessert that didn’t seem to be chopstick compliant and I sure don’t know what to do with a dried duck. Even.
The photo doesn’t do it justice. I almost had Hubby take it out of the package for a better photo, but then I can’t re-gift it to my neighbor if I bust it open. 🙂 I have since been told I can put the dried duck in a pot of boiling water and it will “pop” back out. Anyone want to come for dinner this week? I will make it!
Back to CNY celebrations….Our hosts out did themselves cooking. The food was amazing and my children ate so much I might have been embarrassed if we were in the States at an American home. Thankful for me, good Chinese hospitality offers you way more food than necessary and eating till you might get sick is expected.
Don’t get me wrong, even if we were good guests in how much we ate….we were still in our high glory. One of our littles dropped and broke a glasss, another spilled an entire tumbler of tea and yet another had a bathroom “incident.” The other families all have one child – mostly teenagers and are in awe of our whole crew. We proved their theory that I am crazy busy and half out of my mind….but our host said, “You are busy but happy.” Points for her looking deeper than our chaos and not getting angry at our crazies!
As I looked around the room as we lounged, chatted and made connections it hit me that it is moments like these (chaos and all) that are the reason we have come.