Saturday, November 26, 2005

Phil and Sarah threw a great Thanksgiving ("gan an jie") dinner party last night featuring expats and Chinese, journalists and non-journalists, salads, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, chocolate cake, stuffing, cranberry sauce and turkey! There were doctoral candidates studying village elections, writers dissecting the environment, NGO workers and TV presenters, toddlers who spoke German and Chinese, two enormously affectionate cats and copious amounts of wine.

The day before, a friend invited me to the one-year anniversary of a Beijing restaurant owned by a Singapore-headquartered chain, complete with fashion show. Their prices are high by Beijing standards and customers are mostly local Chinese who have lived or studied abroad for several years. The menu: lobster mousse with glutinous rice and a jicama cheese roll; braised turbot in a curry sauce; beef tenderloin with a foie gras sauce; fried rice with hairy crab; warm chocolate pudding with figs hand carried in from Singapore.

And today, I joined a gym.