I Don’t Know, Peanut Butter with your Spaghetti?

Well, this past Saturday is one that I surely won’t forget anytime soon.

Initially, it wasn’t much different than previous Saturdays, I woke up and got on the computer. Not a great habit, I know, but I try not to go on quite so much…I try…anyhow, the previous night I had suggested I cook us all dinner–me, Sabrina, housecleaner , and Baba.

Sorry to interupt, but Midori is singing loudly what sounds like nonsense. Got Moritz to videotape, hopefully I can put a link in my next post. Wow, she’s into this…singing “FUN-KEY” and doing disco hands. This is hilarious, especially now that Midori has explained they’re singing about blood types A,B, and O. You guys will love this video…. will put up soon, I promise.

Anyways, I had a quest to make spaghetti for my family so at noon I was off, traveling alone for my first time in China. Midori is being really distracting by singing so cutely and off tune. Sorry I’ll try to stay on topic. First I went to Walmart and got peanut butter, jelly, pocky, skittles, and pre-packaged gifts from God named Danco Waffles. Then I went to the bank to once again attempt to exchange money…and was happily surprised. There was a woman who spoke English working there, and they all knew what traveler’s checks were. I was given a form to fill out, and everyone was eager to help me. I thought I had filled it all out, and handed it to the woman. She checked it over and was nodding when she realized that I hadn’t put my address. I didn’t know my address. – Side note: Midori is now watching one of the videos Moritz just took of her and is singing along to herself – Sabrina was in school so I called my dad, asking him what our address was, to which I got my official least favorite phrase of all time: “I don’t know”. I gave the phone to the bank employee to talk to him, and then I got the phone back. He told me that he would take me another time….I’ll relay to you our conversation:

Baba: “Next time … I will take you … bank … exchange money!”
Me: “But I’m at the bank right now! I just need our address! What is our address!”
Baba: “Do you need money?”
Me: “yes! I have been here a month and haven’t exchanged any money!”
Baba: “come home and I will give you money”
Me: (improvising) “I don’t have enough money for a taxi. I don’t have money. I cannot go home”
Baba: “come home and I will give you money, next time I will take you to the bank”
Me: “I need money!”
Baba: “Come home and I will give you money”

So I give the phone back to the woman, hoping she can talk sense into him, but to no avail–they hang up, and I have to pack up all my stuff and leave. Once out of the building, I immediately begin crying because I’m a very emotional person. So there I am, Asian-squatting outside of the bank with a bunch of groceries but nothing that I can produce a meal from, sticking out like a sore thumb because of my ethnicity and the fact that I’m crying. Just to disprove that cliche myspace icon, when you’re walking in the rain, people CAN tell you’re crying. Just to clear up any confusion.

So I walk for a while and grab a taxi that’s driven by the first female taxi driver I’ve seen since I’ve been here. I go to a supermarket that Sang Min told me has spaghetti, which turns out to be on walking street. I give money to a poor homeless man who’s only protection from the rain is a garbage bag, and also to a man with no hands. Here, homeless are completely ignored and seem to get no help at all whatsoever from the public. I could write a whole post about how horrible it is…but perhaps another time.

I buy spaghetti and sauce, and realize I’m running out of money. I’m right near a Benefit San Fransisco Brow Bar but I don’t have enough time or money to get my eyebrows done, much to my dissapointment…so I get lucky and steal someone’s taxi, which I wouldn’t have done under normal circumstances but I really needed to get home. My day wasn’t really going well. Oh, I forgot to mention–I got friggin clipped/hit by a motorbike outside of Walmart. Great, huh? I was accidentally on the motorbike part of the sidewalk (which is really small) and was running to the walking part when some guy hit me…I didn’t fall over or anything and he didn’t stop, but I can’t say I enjoyed the experience, and it certainly shook me up.

When I arrived home at last, I didn’t know when to start cooking. Had no idea when Sabrina would get home from school…but apparently I guessed too early. By the time I was done cooking spaghetti (without any butter or olive oil, because I forgot to buy any) and had heated up the sauce with a wok (something I would not reccomend), no one was home to eat it except for the housecleaner. She suggested I eat some but I wanted to wait for everyone else (presumably meaning Sabrina and my dad). Inevitably, the spaghetti soon was stone cold…finally Sabrina came home and it became evident that my dad wasn’t going to. I attempted to reheat the spaghetti in the wok, but there was some previous meal burned onto the bottom and it coated the first plate of spaghetti I dumped in there…so I threw away the spaghetti, the housecleaner washed the wok, and then I began reheating everything together. It didn’t get that hot and tasted like crap. I told them it wasn’t going to taste good because I didn’t have the right ingredients…while we were eating I heard them talking (in Chinese of course) about how it tasted bad…then they got out the jar of chili peppers and put it on their spaghetti and said it tasted better. I was offered some, as well as the peanut butter I had bought before, to liven up my meal.

My attempt at making American food was a failure. Hopefully next time, I’ll be a decent cook. I have to be given credit, though, this was second time ever cooking spaghetti on my own, and I didn’t even have the correct utensils and was being barked orders at in Chinese the whole time by the housecleaner, who was attempting to help me cook spaghetti in the most Chinese ways possible.

The song Midori was listening to about blood (not her singing it) : http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTgxNDQzNzky.html
Another of Midori’s favorites, which includes saying “sky high” numerous times while they claim they’re..from? New York City: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTA3MDQ3MDI0.html

2 thoughts on “I Don’t Know, Peanut Butter with your Spaghetti?”

  1. Hey Miranda, it’s Dana.
    I’m not sure why they’re asking for your address to exchange money? There should just be little booths that read “currency exchange” around. All you do is walk up and change your us dollars to chinese currency. Sometimes you just need to sign a little slip of paper.

  2. Also, if you have a credit or a debit card, then just go to any atm and withdraw money, it will be in chinese currency. You’ll only be charged a small amount. The only reason I can think you’re going to a bank is if you have traveller’s checks? Otherwise the two ways I said are the easiest way to exchange money…

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