Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fried Rice and Meatballs

If anyone should ask, Yangzhou has 4 famous dishes - Yangzhou fried rice, lions head meatballs, stewed pig's head and bean curd threads. We tried all but the pig's head, twice in one day. It appears that these are just about all the dishes that most people go to Yangzhou for, and there is not much else on the menus. The meatballs are a combination of pork and crab meat, tender beyond belief and served in a clear soup broth. Bean curd threads are dried bean curd cut into threads that look like thin noodles, also cooked in a chicken broth. They are soft, very flavorful and I imagine, quite healthy!

We took a 2 hour walk through Yangzhou's famous long lake, lined with billowy willow trees and rock gardens. Unfortunately, Pa's foot was swollen from walking too much in shoes that didn't fit too well. He had spent the last few days in the hotel room, but today, we were delighted to find that the park had a wheelchair available for loan. So pushing him on the paths, we discovered that China is making strides to be friendly to seniors. I can't say that the paths are accessible, but it is a start. Yangzhou is a lovely city with a tourist-like flavor to it. The lack of manufacturing that is so common in most chinese cities, makes it a very clean and peaceful place to spend a few days. There are more bikes and mopeds than cars here and we had fun pointing out entire families, parents with babies strapped to their front, young couples and friends, all riding on single mopeds. There is not much that can't be carried or transported by bicycle-men pushing carts of lumber 10 feet long in front of their bicycles, sacks of rice on the back of the bike seat etc.
It is a colorful sight that I will be sorry to see change. Yangzhou's 5 year plan includes a thoroughly modern city with high rises and automobiles. China today will definitely not be the China of tomorrow.


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