Tag Archive | family

Be Aggressive

That’s what the doctor said to me today… I finished my Pediatric Gastroenterology sub-specialty rotation this week with Dr. Daum of Winthrop. I enjoyed Gastroenterology out of all my courses in my first two years. Essentially, I am saying I love dealing with poop. Because all this week, almost every patient I saw with Dr. Daum in the office, was a constipated child. Even when I was in the endoscopy center, I thought I was going to see some crazy Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, esophagitis, gastritis, or other gastrointestinal problems. Nope, I only saw a boy with perfectly clean intestines and apparently “very beautiful” villi in the small intestines because his mother wanted him scoped and checked from mouth to anus. And of course, he was just another constipated child with abdominal pain. Completely behavioral and functional in children and adolescents.

So why did Dr. Daum say I was a smart and fun kid who should “be aggressive.” That morning during NICU rounds with the chairman, he was there as well because one of the babies in the NICU was getting worked up for meconium plug. So that morning by the computer, my classmates and I gathered in the discussion about meconium plug and the differential workup to rule out Hirschprung’s disease. The doctors pulled up chest X-rays and asked us, the students, what we saw. Someone said “there’s a boot-shaped heart.” Then, long silence as the doctors asked us for any other observations. I pointed out the collapsed lung from a pneumothorax, where you can see air between the pleural surface and the rib cage. Ah yesss… very important observation.

That evening as the day ended and Dr. Daum had to run to a staff meeting. He said to me, “It was smart that you picked up on that pneumothorax this morning. Don’t be afraid to speak up. You’re a smart kid… Be aggressive… Because at the end of the day, you’ll be remembered.”  With these words coming from a doctor I felt intimidated in the beginning based on hearsay, I was knocked off my saddle.  In the beginning, I was avoiding any interaction with this particular doctor because he gave negative evaluations and was not very nice. Well, I experienced the opposite. He was an old-fashioned fellow, but he was thorough and kind with his patients and me. So I’m glad I made a positive impression.

Though he was running late, he spent a good 10 minutes telling me another important aspect of life as a doctor:  family is priority, medicine comes second.  Always. He was always available to his 5 kids. He said, “My kids will never say I was not there for them. Never.” And this is important for me as a future female doctor. I hope to be married by 30, settle down with my significant other, and have a happy family. From my experiences thus far in Ob/Gyn and Pediatrics, I just cannot wait to have babies, and I’ll want to be there for them from milk to milestones to merry-go-rounds. And with the lasting words of Dr. Daum, I can be assured it’s possible.


So Long Shanghai

Saturday, April 23, 2011: Homeward Bound

I was sad my week had to end. After a fantastic week flying around China and eating with family, it was time to snap back to reality. Reality meant back to school, medical school, and studying my brains to Jupiter again. Not like I study that hard in medical school compared to college, but still, I have to read books again and return to my time zone. Let’s say it took more than a good couple of slaps in the face to snap me back out of vacation mode…

For our farewell breakfast, Xiao Jiu Ma made us wonton soup and 湯團 Tang Tuan. It is apparently a Chinese custom to eat wontons or tang tuan before a departing for home to ensure a safe trip:  路上平安 Lu Shang Ping An =) We did have something to worry about for the trip back home:  bags and bags of stuff.  Coming to Shanghai, we all packed lightly; for one, I had one backpack and a pocketbook. There were also two duffel bags, a medium Nike red one and a large blue camping bag. Originally, Mom wanted to chuck away the big blue bag because it was so heavy. Not happening! We actually ran out of room stuffing all our goods:  gifts, biscuits, pastries, SHOES, clothes, etc… Consolidation was difficult, so we ended up carrying gift bags in our hands anyway. I was concerned with our baggage check though, because I was not sure if the additional slew of bags counted as excess baggage… In the end, it did not matter; they were simply counted as gift bags and we were fine.

It was barely 8 am and we were ready for the airport. Xiao Wang came to drive us to Hong Qiao Airport. Qing Qing and Xiao Chen accompanied us on our last ride together. We waved goodbye to Jiu Jiu and Xiao Jiu Ma, not for the last time of course. It was a hazy, lazy morning as we drove to the airport. God I really was going to miss a place I’ve come to equate with home!

At the airport, Qing Qing and Xiao Chen continued to help us through and through, until the security check area, with our overweight bags and handicapped Pops. Without them, my arms were going to crack in half. Either way, without their enormous help from the security check in, my arms would still break apart and my back sore ={ It was a sad goodbye, because I have come to know Qing Qing so well over this week, whom I met for the first time since a long, long time ago, a time I barely remember in the deep cobwebs of my brain. From here on out, I will remember all the incredible expeditions with Qing Qing and Xiao Chen and what wonderful people they genuinely are. I learned a great deal about China with them, and I hope we have taught them just as much about America. Like I told everyone else during our family encounters and farewells, I hope to have them come to New York one day and show them the best America has to offer! I will be their personal tour guide, as I lived a culturally-thrilling four years in Manhattan. Funny thing though, we have always complained they don’t leave Shanghai enough to visit us in America, when in fact, Yi Fu told us he did come to New York for a business trip. We just missed his phone call because Mom tends to ignore incoming calls labeled “unavailable.” Our paths crossed but missed, just like in those sad Asian dramas… Anyway, we all hugged tightly and wished for the best! No matter how much we have come to love life’s bliss and treasures in Shanghai, we had to part ways and move on until next time. Next time will surely NOT be a decade!

In the airport, we were lucky, again, to have assistance. An airport staff member gave us priority in passing the VISA check line and catching the elevator. He escorted Dad with us, who happened to be a convenient shopping cart because he loaded some baggage and gift bags on his lap. He certainly made himself useful. At the departure gate, the Chinese man took us through another special security check usually for first-class. Ah, now I got a chance to walk through a special corridor with the first-class riders! On the plane we go, back to Detroit!!  Next post:  How I stayed sane and not somnolent on the long flight ahead…

Puppy Love

Friday, April 22, 2011:  To Auntie’s House We Go…

We arrived back at Yi Ma’s house, aka Lin-Ai, the way I’m used to calling her unfortunately. The area she resides in has changed dramatically since nine years ago. The same elementary school is next door. Across the street and all along, more stores have opened up and replaced older homes.  There was a pet shop for animal grooming, clothing shops, and eateries. I still had to take the same rocky path down a narrow alley to get to her apartment behind. We walked up to the second floor and arrived at her home. It was still as small as ever, but beautifully renovated now. I walked into the kitchen, put on some slippers, and moved into the living space. There was the same bed against the wall. The wine showcase was replaced with a built-in closet against the wall. A flat-screen TV rested against the opposite wall, making room for a table and chairs. Off to the farthest side was the alcove for the washing machine and dryer, air-conditioning, pseudo-balcony, storage space, and windows.  I clearly remembered how Kelly and I used to hear the watermelon man selling his fruits, “買 西瓜- 啊~~” or “Mai Xi Gua-ah~AH-ah~AH~ah.”  Kelly and I crawled up to the windows and echoed what he said! When he’d look up to find the mysterious childish voices, we would duck down and repeat the vicious cycle. Wow, we were mischievous little ones…

Speaking of watermelons and melons, we sat down and ate those fruits. I feel like that is what I always do in China, eat watermelons. Whether it’s in sliced or juiced form, watermelon is a common theme in Chinese homes and restaurants. It’s like this:  instead of sitting in front of the Yule Log munching on Christmas cookies or in front of Saturday night football pigging out on Domino’s Extra Cheese pizza and greasy potato chips, we sit together as a family sucking the juice out of watermelon juices. To me, it’s become a symbol of family bonding time – healthy, delicious, and poignant. I can’t complain, I love fresh watermelons in all forms and sizes. Wai Po and Yi Fu cut and served us melons. Yi Fu went out to buy fruits earlier for us to eat, cleaning and cutting in the kitchen. Of course, we told him to rest up and not work so hard because he’s been sick and he should watch his stress level. He sat down with us and mentioned it was not watermelon season just yet, so the fruits were not as juicy and sweet as desired. We spent a long time playing with the family pooch, Xiao Bao Bao. I am still not sure if the pooch has a name or she’s given a generic pet name, like Little Baby. She was too cute. We were feeding it the watermelon whites and melon pieces. She licked our hands. She stood on a chair as we fed her. Playing around with her, we would make the food a reaching target, but she was cautious enough not to move too far off the chair, or else she’d make a trip to the floor. She kept scuttling between our legs and under the tables. What a hyperactive little one. Overall she was adorable and good, not too fierce or aggressive. She was quiet and obedient. We would coo at her and shake her hands, “Xiao Bao Bao, Lai! La La Shou!… Guai Xiao Bao Bao! Good Baby!” Her bulging black eyes shined beneath the lights. Her white fur was like feel of a favorite stuffed animal.

We let Xiao Bao Bao model her irresistible beauty. Many wardrobe changes were necessary and many shots were taken to capture every moment!  First, she was in her birthday suit, au naturel…


Second, she sported a sky-blue and baby pink polo shirt for a sporty look.

Next, she went all-gangster and bling-bling in a hot pink hoodie.

Then, she modeled another tight jacket with a furry hoodie. Lookin’ warm!

And lastly, Xiao Bao Bao ended the chair-way with a wine-red, patterned vest.

The pooch was a VIP visitor. After the photo-shoot, I showed him pictures of herself on the camera, and she looked! Well, at least initially, she looked for maybe 5 seconds, and then she seemed to get bored… Still she was such a smart and pretty dog. Now that I think about it, she was the closest thing to an fun pet I ever had, even though our bonding was a mere few hours that Friday =) Aside from the puppy-play, it was also an important time to see family – Yi Ma, Yi Fu, and Wai Po. They’ve been special people to us for a long time. We were very lucky to spend the quality time to catch up on life and much more. Most of the time, Mom was conversing with her mother, sister, and brother-in-law. The few times Kelly and I came into the discussion, it was about our love lives and our future careers. For instance, the talk of the town this entire week has been about Kelly going to San Diego, California to study accounting and Connie becoming enslaved to medicine for the next 10 years… On a different note, Mom has been persistently saying Kelly will marry a “Jin Shi Mao” or a ‘Blond-Haired Beauty” or what I like to call “A California Beach-Blond No-Brainer Surfer Dude…” And it’s already known I will be on the polar opposite end of the spectrum, because I like my Asian guys and I’ve only dated Asian guys, and that’s not changing anytime soon.

Careers and boys aside, we had a nice heart-to-heart session in the living room, a private reunion with our loved ones. Over fruits, friendly dog, television, and chatter, I enjoyed my time there. Before we left for another dinner outing, Lin-Ai showed us photos from Sun-Po’s wedding. My, my, the pictures were glamorous and romantic! China wedding pictures >>> America photographs. Sun-Po and his wife posed in numerous suits and dresses, under various lighting and atmospheres, and with so much love in their eyes. It was like flipping through a real-life fairy tale book! So young and so in love… I can’t wait for my one love and fairy tale marriage. I’ll be sure to make Shanghai a honeymoon spot, first to see family, and second to get these professional wedding shots!

Cheng Huang Miao 城隍庙: City of Gods

Thursday, April 21, 2011: Cheng Huang Miao 城隍庙 (City Temple God)

Cheng Huang Miao 城隍庙

After savoring in Xiao Jiu Ma’s breakfast medley, it was time to hit the streets of Shanghai. Up next on our agenda was 城隍庙 Cheng Huang Miao, a popular shopping area situated in the “old” city of Shanghai’s Pu xi 浦西 (West of Huang Pu Jiang). Ancient temples topped with sharp-angled roofs shooting up to the sky were dispersed across the area. Red, lacquered balconies lined the old-style buildings. Pavilions, teahouses, restaurants, and shops created the heart of Cheng Huang Miao’s attraction and adventure. Minus the crowded side streets and alleys, the architecture was absolutely breathtaking and the shopping experience was thrilling.

Teahouse for the morning cup o' tea

Starbucks got stuck in old Shanghai

Pavilions, Water fountains, Greenery

Goldfish 金魚

Dragons rule!

And of course, the slew of family pictures to remember this cultural excursion, at least for the Yu-family. Qing Qing and Xiao Chen came along for the journey through their own hometown…

Xiao Chen, Kai-Li, Qing Qing, Ka-nee

I love this angle

Two sisters and Xiao Chen

With the Mama

Yu Family

Like playing with fire ~~

A Pok-Yu-Sun Family Reunion

Monday, April 18, 2011: All About Shanghai

International Education Center of SHNU, Garden Restaurant

For lunch, I had a reunion with almost everyone from my maternal family. Missing was 大舅舅 ‘Da Jiu Jiu’ (Oldest Uncle) and his family (a wife and 2 older kids, who I’ve met previously) because they live in the next city over. The important thing was, most of us were together, particularly the Yu family from America. It has been a lifetime since I’ve partaken in a traditional Chinese family gathering at a fancy restaurant. We are not close at all anymore with my paternal family, so family parties and dinners are nonexistent nowadays. I felt a little strange sitting with my maternal family, the whole Pok gang at a round table awaiting the food to roll in through the doors. Seeing my other half of the family was blissful, fulfilling, and poignant. It has almost been an unbelievable 10 years since we last met. 10 YEARS, a near decade!… My sister and I felt their eyes on us, absorbing us and admiring in how much we have matured and changed. Last time, I was 12 and my sister was 8; I was a rolley-poley-oley and my sister was a twig with cute curls. I was an awkward teenager amidst puberty and my sister was going through the cutesy, innocent stage where everyone just wants to pinch her chubby cheeks. Now, smiling faces looked back at us, happy for this belated reunion and amazed at who we have become over the years.

And I was in a lighthearted state myself, seeing how much my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandmother have changed. It was a heart-warming feeling to give everyone a hug and kiss on the cheek, to have them hold your hands again and show their deep love. Xiao Jiu Jiu and Jiu Ma – they’ve always been in Shenzhen and luckily, they moved to Shanghai to be closer with the rest of the family. Last time, I remember going to the zoo with Xiao Jiu Jiu; now, we have grown closer, spending a week under their hospitality. Yi Ma and Yi Fu – Oh, how much they love us! I’ve been told stories of when I was a baby, and Yi Ma loved carrying me everywhere, the daughter she never had. Then I was replaced with my cute sister, but that’s a whole different story. Last time we visited, we stayed at Yi Ma and Yi Fu’s apartment for 2 weeks and they took us everywhere as well. Now they have grown a little older, but still looking good for their age. They are going through a difficult time, the other reason we made a trip to Shanghai this year, and we wanted to pay an important visit. Seeing them was emotionally moving, because they have been so loving and caring to us. They are the model aunt and uncle with a happy, healthy family and close relationship with my parents. Next, my Wai Po; I am glad she is healthy and happy as well. She is nearing 90-something years old and still strong as ever. She was the only one from China to pay a visit to America when I was a wee toddler. Now she is gnarly and old, but looking as healthy as a horse. It was a delightful moment to give her a long awaited hug. Then there were my cousins. I’ve mentioned Qing Qing and her ‘new’ husband; this was the first time I really met and talked to her. To spend the upcoming week with them would be a chance to catch up on life – China and America time. And last, but not least, Sun Po. Since last time I saw him, he has graduated college, is working as a guidance counselor at Shanghai Normal University, and happily married. Yep, he was recently (and blissfully) married in November 2010. His wife, whom I was allowed to call Jie Jie as in elder sister, is stunningly beautiful, polite, and elegant. They are a perfect match and I am happy for them. Now I’ll just patiently wait to be an Aunt. Scratch that, I AM an Aunt, just I haven’t met my elder cousin’s kids yet, the ones in the other city over.

Pok-Yu-Sun Family, Lol~

A precious, everlasting gift

I was very much moved when I received a gift from my Yi Ma and Yi Fu. They got me a traditional red string bracelet with jade and an adorable golden dragon in light of my Chinese zodiac sign. It is meant to protect me from evil spirits. It is also a symbol of their everlasting love for me. I will always remember this eternal gift, for I am a treasure in their eyes and they are forever in my heart.

In such camaraderie, lunch was all the more enjoyable. Here’s a snap shot of that day’s feeding frenzy, a taste of Shanghai’s glory!

北京烤鴨 Peking Roasted Duck, or at least Shanghai’s rendition of Beijing’s classic specialty. The meat was rather tender and flavorful. The skin was crispy and greasy, done with perfection! It was wrapped with green onions & cucumber for additional vegetable crunch and brushed with light oyster sauce, all packed into a small thin Chinese-style tortilla called 薄餅 ‘Bo Bing.’ Yes, I had to work for this heavenly goodness; I wrapped it more like a mini-burrito (horrendous and pitiful), while my dad has been trying to teach me a simpler, less amateur method, where it’s more like a pocket. It does not really matter, because it will end up in my stomach nonetheless.

生煎包 Sheng Jian Bao (Shanghainese Fried Dumplings): God, I miss these babies. They are a hybrid of dumplings and soft, white 饅頭 man tou. It is pork-filled and pan-fried so beautifully, oozing with hot and savory meat soup in one bite. With one moment’s careless chow, the hot juice spills out and burns your taste buds and mouth. But you ignore the burn and continue your chow time. It’s worth the burn because it is so delectable! It’s like having a soup surprise and pork extravaganza in your cute, but large dumplings. You have to eat these babies in a small rice bowl and soup spoon, or else you cannot drink the entire goodness. The bottom is fried and hard; the top is sprinkled elegantly with green onions and sesame seeds. This is a must-have Shanghainese delicacy!

生煎饅頭 Sheng Jian Bao, or Shang Ji Bo in Shanghainese

– 湯圓 Tang Yuan (Sweet Glutinous Rice Ball Soup): Gluttony indeed! This perfectly sweet soup with chewy rice balls is common in China. There are plenty of variations, such as red bean soup, black sesame soup, ginger + rock sugar, and 酒釀 Jiu Niang (fermented glutinous rice) + rock sugar. This one was a simple concoction of rock sugar and glutinous rice balls. It was so yummy! This is a fat, red X for the Atkins dieter =D

Here’s a medley of the rest of the appetizers and entrees:

Sweet Green Almond Mush, Fried Fish, Black vegetables

Sweet Yams, Little Chinese Dates, Tofu Strips, Duck...

Looks like a fat sleeping catepillar, but it's a crispy treat filled with daikon strips or 蘿蔔 'luo bo'

Flying High to Shanghai 上海

Friday, April 15, 2011, New York –> Detroit, Michigan

This Spring Break was a special one. It was meant for family bonding time, particularly with my relatives on the other side of the spinning globe. 10 years ago when we last visited, I was a pudgy, awkward teenager and my sister was an adorable midget. Flash forward to 2011, we are certainly not the same. I’ve been looking forward to this moment because I miss them and I want to travel far and wide. When you do not see people for a long time, you long for them more and appreciate the cherished moments together. This upcoming series will detail my journey to China again, my travels, my dear family, and my cultural experiences.

To begin, I was super excited last Friday preparing for this crunched Spring Break. One week in China is not enough to catch up on life, but with the limited time, every moment becomes precious. We drove to JFK to catch our evening flight to Detroit, where we would stay overnight at the Westin Hotel. The next day’s afternoon, we would catch the 14+ hour flight to Shanghai. That means we would get to Shanghai Sunday night, Shanghai time. Originally, we would have gotten to our destination a day earlier, if we stuck with our trajectory to Tokyo. But my mom, anxious and fussy as she is, refused to even stay at the airport in Tokyo for a few hours, in fear of the radiation disaster there. Somehow, my sister managed to bring out her bitchy side to the Delta administrative assistants and get us an exchange for the Detroit layover. Otherwise, Dad would’ve had to shed out a few extra thousand dollars for the exchange. At the same time, we lost a full day in China.

So all of Saturday into Sunday was up in the air. It was a terrible flight aboard Delta. I was squished in the center aisle. I couldn’t fall asleep upright. My back and neck ached to the bone when I did fall asleep. I couldn’t see the TV from the back with two tall people sitting right in front of me. The food was OK; the portions were small and diverse. I had a chicken/pilaf for the dinner and then a pasta/shrimp over pepper pesto sauce for the pre-arrival meal. There was even a mid-flight snack, in the form of a juicy apple and deli sandwich. I swear, all that effort working out my body and brains went down the tube on that flight. All I did was eat, sit, and sleep for 14+ hours. This was the life of an average American, and I was grossed out myself. I tried making myself feel better by drinking some red wine and going to sleep. I got up and walked about, relieved myself in the cramped bathroom, and stretched my legs around in the little space I had. Meh, I felt like Babe the pig: a lazy bum eating all the time.

Sunday, April 17, 2011: SHANGHAI BABY!

Finally, we touched down Sunday night at Pudong International! Finally, some air and space! We went through the VISA checkpoint and proceeded to the arrival gate. Oh my, I could not I-spy my Auntie 阿姨 ‘Ah Yi” and cousin 表姊 ‘Biao Jie’ in an instant like my mother. She picked out her sister and niece in a finger snap, while my sister and I were expecting our other guy cousin 表哥. We saw familiar, stout-looking dude and thought he was our cousin here to pick us up, but he didn’t look right either. Then, we remembered he was our Auntie’s driver, 小王 ‘Xiao Wang’! He used to appear taller and thinner, but in relative terms, we used to be shorter and smaller too. Maybe he packed on some muscle in the past decade too.

I saw my Auntie 姨媽, my mother’s younger sister, and she still looks good for her age. She’s still petite, but her hair is chopped short and her face is a little aged like  my mother’s. But they still look beautiful. Honestly, my sister and I were not sure what to call her, because we always got used to calling her by her name, Leng Eh (with a Shanghainese dialect). Of course she’d toy with us and say, “You call me what? Call me Mommy!” So to simply matters, my sister and I called her Mommy for the time being.

Then, we met our cousin we never met, 清清 “Qing Qing,” who shares the same pet name as my sister! To simplify that matter, I could call her 表姊 “Biao Jie” as in older female cousin or 清清姊姊 “Qing Qing Jie Jie” as in an older sister figure. My sister and I met her for the first time because she’s always been going to school or working. Last time we came about a decade ago, she was studying in Australia for her masters. She’s also been abroad working as a software engineer in Japan, India, and around China. She’s got a packed resume under her belt, but has found time aside to spend with us for a full week.

Lastly, I met another man I didn’t recognize, Qing Qing’s husband. Last time, I did not recall her getting married, but within the last 4-5 years, she did. And we missed it, in addition to our other cousin’s marriage this past November. Darn. Anyway, she’s happily married now to 小陳 ‘Xiao Chen’ and he appeared to be a very nice gentleman. Except I also did not know what on earth to call him. Only later when we had the guts to ask, he jokingly told us, with a laugh, “Ah, no problem. You can call me 表姊夫 ‘Biao Jie Fu’ or simply Xiao Chen.” Ah, all these relationships, they only get more complicated!

Yi Ma and Qing Qing looked at us and said, “Well well, they have changed SO MUCH.” Qing Qing mentioned how she saw me when I was a baby and only now saw me all grown-up. I’ve only seen her in pictures, and she looked just as young and pretty. Yi Ma looked at my sister and said, “Oh, how much you’ve grown! You used to be so small and adorable, walking with me to go street shopping and calling me Mommy.”

On the drive from Pudong to Puxi, the adults were catching up in the back of the van and we were observing the huge changes Shanghai has undergone. The city has become so modernized it looks just like Manhattan. All the high skyscrapers, the bright city lights shining into the night, the specialized districts attracting businessmen and shop-a-holics alike, and much much more. On the streets, there were the hustle and bustle of buses, taxis, bicycles, and mopeds. There were also quite a number of white people on the streets amidst the native Asians. Street and store signs included more English translations and pinyin for the less literate. Wow, I was amazed at the beauty of Shanghai, all the nightlife, the urban culture, and the diversity!

We stopped by Yi Ma’s apartment and visited our 姨夫 “Yi Fu” (Uncle) and 外婆 “Wai Po” (Maternal grandmother). Even that street has changed a little, with still the old elementary school next door but with glammed up clothing stores and a pet shop on the other side. It was very heartwarming to see our dear uncle and grandmother again, who happens to be almost 90 years old! We also played with their little white fluffball, 小寶寶 “Xiao Bao Bao” or Little Baby, an 8-year-old cutie. Apparently, she was anti-social, because she kept making wheezing noises and turning away from us. Smart little dog, she knew who her mommy and daddy were. It’ll take some time for the little pooch to get used to us.

Last stop of the night, our uncle’s place. He is my 小舅舅 “Xiao Jiu Jiu,” or my mother’s older brother. He’s ‘Little Uncle’ because we have another “Older Uncle” in another town over. Living with him is 小舅媽 “Xiao Jiu Ma,” or my uncle’s wife. To complete the connection, Qing Qing is their daughter. We arrived with Qing Qing and Xiao Chen at their apartment. Jiu Ma surprised us with a wonderful homey dinner! It was another taste of Shanghai! It tasted just like Mom’s home-cooking! Let’s see what delicacies she made for us: Jiang en tang (Turtle soup-I took no part in consuming the poor critter), 涼拌黃瓜 Liang Ban Huang Gua (Pickled Cucumbers), Xun (crunch, pale yellow, long shooty vegetables in savory sauce), Nu Me Jing Se Niu (soft white dough balls stuffed with beef), another variation with stuffed shrimp, fresh broad beans, and silken tofu/seafood soup. It was such a hearty, home-coming meal on the first day- 太客氣 了!I felt like I was home =)