China Nationals and a Very Sick Robot

After a somewhat productive morning of mostly sitting around and eating soup, but also picking up some groceries, I decided to enjoy the beautiful weather and support my team. I wrote down meticulous directions to the fields (all the way out past the Fifth Ring Road) and took the subway. I got to Beiyuanlu Station and tried to flag down a cab. The only cab that stopped refused to take me because he didn’t want to go northeast, he just wanted to go north. A gypsy driver was waiting for this opportunity, and told me he would take me there. Since I didn’t want to miss the game or stand around waiting for another twenty minutes, I reluctantly agreed. He seemed nice enough and he followed my directions, and commented that my Chinese writing was pretty good.

The grass and fields were beautiful, I lay in the sun soaking up vitamin D, both the A team and the B team did pretty well. I got a lot of good-natured ribbing about my lack of voice (to be fair, I did sort of sound like Gollum), but it was a beautiful afternoon. We bussed back and after the boys had a chance to shower, went to some friends’ apartment for some video games before going to the tournament dinner. The food was good although quickly eaten by ravenous hordes. The theme was end of the world-there were some interesting costumes. One couple came as Bruce Willis and that chick from Fifth Element, one girl wore a colander on her head like a space helmet, someone threw a wig at me and so of course I donned it (bringing back memories of when I was young and stupid and actually died my hair blue and purple). BG really pulled off the “end is near” homeless guy, and Ginny rocked the sign thing too, so when we were all on the train some lady came up and started chatting BG up about our costumes. Bambi and another guy decided to represent the zombie apocalypse. It was..ridiculous. Dinner was fun, but I wasn’t feeling quite festive, so after a while I grabbed a taxi home while everyone else headed out to Sanlitun. My cab driver was quite interested in why so many people were trying to grab cabs and why I was by myself and all that.

Me and Jersey at End of the World Party

Bambi as a zombie

Although I went to bed early (around 11) I woke up feeling even worse, with my voice gone again. I tried to teach two classes, but ended up just having my free-talk girl play text twist on my iPad when it got too painful, and had the desk girls cancel the rest of the day. I came home and watched zombies all day (Zombieland, the Walking Dead) since they looked about how I felt. I played with Hector and let him run around my room, but after a little calm nap where he halfheartedly tried to nom my fingers and accepted being pet, that little fur ball got a second wind and kept trying to chew on my and my power cords and peed on my sheets.

Monday morning was no better. I had to give myself a pep talk to put clothes on. I got to work, and my voice started getting croaky again. I managed to work on one small task, but my brain was fuzzy and I couldn’t hear anything or breathe, so eventually I gave up and went home at lunchtime. I stopped to pick up the makings for soup and went to the corner pharmacy for cough syrup. I had the desk girl’s recommendation for a good cough syrup but the pharmacy guy asked my symptoms and recommended some different things, and in that state of misery he could have sold me snake oil. I ended up getting three different kind of meds and I’m not really sure what each of them do/are for, but one is a pack of blue pills that look like M&Ms, one is a pack of yellow pills that look like M&Ms, and one is a box of little brown glass vials that kind of looks like heroin, which comes with 12 little straws and a cap-popper. I tried to translate the directions and everything on the boxes but it was too much. We’ll see what happens.

Creepy Chinese medicine

And I drank enough tea to drown in and watched movies from Bambi’s hard drive and ate a lot of soup.
Step One: Roast a chicken. Rinse whole chicken, trim off excess fat, pat dry, rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Step Two: Stuff cavity with onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and lemon. Slice lemon and garlic wafer thin, and insert under the skin, slitting the skin by the cavity and sliding it forward next to the breast.
Step Three: Set the oven for 1hour 40 minutes at 200 C and take a nap/sit in bed with a kitten.
Step Four: Remove chicken. Let rest. Cut up a stalk of celery, three quarters of an onion, 2 cloves garlic, one carrot, half a sweet potato and potato. Cut a little bit of celery, onion, garlic, carrot and potatoes into soup-size bits and set separate.
Step Five: Once cool enough to handle, break down the chicken. Try not to eat too much of it while you shred up the meat. I like dark meat, so I used most of the drier white breast meat for the soup, and put the rest in Tupperware for another meal. Bones, fat, some of the skin, I use for the broth.
Step Six: Heat olive oil in a pot, toss in the onion celery and garlic, soften. Throw in the rest of the vegetables. Throw in the chicken carcass (and if you’re like me, any other soup bone bits you’ve been saving in the freezer). Season with some salt, pepper, herbs, bay leaves, star anise, a little bit of cinnamon stick, and a dash or two of soy sauce. Add 8 cups of water and maybe a dash of wine. Let it boil, skim away the foam that accumulates on top. Taste occasionally and season accordingly.
Step 7: I parboiled the sweet and regular potato cubes first, then boiled a handful of small shell pasta, drained and set aside. Softened the rest of the vegetables in a little olive oil, then strained out about two cups of broth from the big pot into the little one, added in the shredded chicken, potatoes and pasta. Simmer. The rest of the broth I strained and froze for later use, and ate my soup with toast.

Simple delicious lemon stuffed roast chicken


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