Shanghai Blog

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I tried making zhajiangmian myself for the first time. Zhajiangmian is a dish from the north of China, Beijing is famous for its Zhajiangmian but I actually never ate it in Beijing but discovered it in Taiyuan. It has a rich and salty taste to it, but its very tasty, and quite a good noodle dish. Turns out its not so easy to find it in Shanghai so I decided to cook it myself. Its not that difficult, just chop some fat pork meat (the type used for bacon, 五花肉) and use a bean paste as base of the sauce. Its interesting with chinese characters btw, I was looking at the description of the bean paste and it has the character for fermented – 酿. The 酉 radical means “wine vessel” so its also interesting to look at what other characters its used in:

    醉 zui = drunk. The character for drunk contains “wine vessel” and “soldier”. No more comments :-)
    酸 suan = sour / sore / grieved. The character contains the “wine vessel” and the a now obsolete character but with the original meaning of “walk slowly”. Maybe the back was sore the day after drinking causing the person to move slowly?
    醜 chou = ugly. The character contains “wine vessel” and “devil”

Posted: 28 Sep 2012

The Shanghai Masters in snooker were held at Shanghai Indoor Stadium not far from IKEA in Shanghai and only a 15 min bike ride from where I live. Went there during two days and got to watch two former world champions, Neil Robertson and Mark Williams. They tickets were very cheap during this stage of the tournament – only 50 rmb for one session (there’s two sessions each day, one starting at 14.30 and a later one starting at 19). There wasn’t a lot of people in the crowd, but even though it wasn’t that many, a lot of phones were still very active .. Makes me feel that mobile phones have caused a very strong compulsive behavior here in China, people are playing with them everywhere. John Higgins won the tournament in the end, by beating Judd Trump 10-9 in a quite amazing final.

Posted: 28 Sep 2012

Jag tog tåget (ca 22 h från Shanghai) till Wudangshan och hälsade på Ralf som tränar taijiquan vid en skola där (Wudang Academy). Berget ligger i norra delen av Hubei provinsen och är mest känt för den kampsport som utvecklades av Daoist munkar boende i tempel på berget. Idag finns det också en massa olika skolor där som man kan studera taijiquan vid (Wudang schools map).

Jag var lite imponerad av Ralf och de andra studenterna, för skolan är väldigt enkel. Det finns verkligen inga bekvämligheter, och måndag till fredag tränar de upp till 9 h per dag. Deras träningsplats är det närliggande templet (templet vid needle grinding well) och det är riktigt fint.

Vi besökte också toppen av berget men tyvärr var vädret inte så bra och man såg mest bara dimma (tanken var att se soluppgången från berget på morgonen).

Efter det reste vi vidare till Xiangyang som är en stad i Hubei, ca 1.5 h från Wudangshan med buss.

Posted: 18 Sep 2012