Day 3 of the juice detox complete! Today, although I’ve felt my tummy rumbling on more occasions than during the previous days, overall I feel a lot better today and full of energy.
What have I learnt from this detox? Well, scary looking green juices can actually be good. So can highlighter orange looking ones. I also eat way too little fruit. So I think I’m going to be drinking more healthy juices in the future.
I know I need to take it easy post-detox on the food front and gradually ease myself back into my normal eating routine. I’m supposed to eat “fresh, light, and healthy” and avoid “white stuff” (like bread, pasta, rice), sugar, junk food, eggs, dairy, and coffee for the next few days. But man, I’m so incredibly looking forward to eating lamingtons, baked goodies, and delicious Thai food tomorrow that I’m afraid I’m going to put my system into shock.
As predicted, day 2 of this juice detox has been not great; it’s been a pretty crappy day, actually, both physically and emotionally. I’ve had a headache the whole day, been grumpy, and felt low (don’t fear, no other humans were harmed as a result). But, after the consumption of my 5th juice, it was like the clouds had lifted and I’m feeling all sorts of positive right now. Maybe it’s the knowledge that there’s only one day to go on this detox…. or perhaps all the goodness from the fruits and vegetables have finally kicked in today. Who knows. The detox works in mysterious ways.
A week before I left Beijing, I signed myself up to do a 3 day juice detox - ie, all you can have for 3 days is 6 bottles of juice per day and water. That is it. So if you know me personally and know how much I talk and think about food, you might just think I was crazy.
But there is a method to my madness. Although I tried to avoid really dodgy foods in Beijing and China in general, unfortunately it is something that you cannot avoid in China. So I’m sure I ate some things that were really bad for me (whether deliberately or inadvertently). I’m hoping that doing a detox will help flush some of these bad things out of my system.
Today was Day 1. To my surprise, my fears about the juices tasting really gross (especially the bright green and orange ones) were eradicated as the 5 out of the 6 juices are really yummy! Unfortunately, the juice that I was most looking forward to (#6) turned out to be a disappointment. I got a headache mid-afternoon, but that is one of the expected side-effects of detoxing. In terms of hunger, because I drank a juice every 2 hours with heaps of water and some herbal tea in between, I didn’t really feel hungry…. hopefully this does not come back to bite me tomorrow!
As a precaution, as I envision a hungry rage monster, I’ve decided to decamp from home and work at uni for Day 2 - with people around me, I’m forced to be human at least.
Favourite foods of Beijing: coming in at a close second, 凉皮 (cold noodles/liangpi), a mouthwatering concoction of cold flat noodles dressed/drenched with a sauce of soy, vinegar and chilli, served with 烤麸 (kaofu, which is bread like in texture), cucumber, and peanuts. Again, it may not look pretty but damn it is tasty.
Most days, liangpi is all I want for lunch. It covers my favourite flavours - vinegar, soy, and chilli - is refreshingly delicious and slurpy to boot. And it is super cheap, costing around 6RMB. Sadly, liangpi becomes harder and harder to find as the cold settles in. Pfft I say - I reckon you can eat liangpi at any time of the year.
Favourite foods of Beijing: my all-time favourite, the humble 煎饼 (jianbing).
Considered to be a breakfast food (but I eat it any time of the day I can find it, really), it is typically purchased from street carts. It’s essentially a crepe, with one side covered with a cracked egg, the other side coated with a couple of sauces, and then wrapped around crispy wafer. Served in a plastic bag for convenience, voila! - one of the most simple, delicious foods that I have tasted. It mightn’t look great, but like all wonderful things, it’s what inside that counts.
Today I visited the Chengdu Panda Base and saw my first ever real life panda! They were oh so incredibly cute.
27 October 2012
But instead of hopping on a plane to go home today, I hopped on a bus to go hiking at the Great Wall.
Don’t worry, it wasn’t because I missed my flight. I’m extending my stay in Beijing for a few more weeks because I need to get more work done. Of course, one of the incidental benefits is that I get to go hiking at the Great Wall a couple more times, which is always such a treat.
Apologies that the title of the blog is now a bit misleading!
12 October 2012
When I travel overseas, I sometimes get asked the question: “Is Australia racist?” My answer is always: honestly, apart from an instant noodle incident in Grade 3 (which was really a case of kids teasing one another because they’re kids, rather than racism), I personally have not experienced racism in Australia (or if I have, I’ve been oblivious to it). But in China, my supposed “motherland”, I personally experience and witness racism much more frequently. An incident happened in the past week that showed how racist, prejudiced, ignorant, and just plain stupid people can be.
I went on a sightseeing/hiking trip out to Gansu province this week, which is in the Western region of China, next to Xinjiang, and quite remote. For dinner, we went to a hawker centre of sorts, with small restaurants all facing onto a common area with seating. Since the common seating was full, our group of 15 went into a small restaurant. After we got settled in, we noticed that a group of about 25-30 middle aged Chinese men had, in the meantime, gathered at a few tables in the common area outside our restaurant and they were all looking into our restaurant, glaring at us menacingly whilst talking amongst themselves. The people inside the restaurant were also looking at us in a less-than-friendly manner. Sensing that something was amiss, our guide got up from our table, went to the front of the restaurant and closed their glass doors whilst staring down the growing mob outside. He then sat down at an empty table at the front of the restaurant, facing in. A “representative” from inside the restaurant then went to speak to our guide.
Later, our guide rejoined our table. Apparently, our group had caused quite the scene when we entered the restaurant. And no, not because we were a bunch of foreigners travelling through relatively remote China. It was because they all thought that another girl and I (the only Asians in our group, apart from the 2 guides) were Japanese.
And the penny drops.
Now, both the other girl and I are 100% Chinese (and she is Chinese born and raised) and we pretty much look it. But because we were speaking English and hanging out with Westerners, they just assumed we were Japanese. They were pissed off that we had the audacity to show our faces in China* and were ready to yell at us, force us out of the restaurant, and maybe even hurt us. All because they *thought* we were Japanese.
Sigh indeed. Oh, the ignorance and stupidity.
*Just in case you weren’t aware, Chinese/Japanese relations are definitely not great currently, with their row over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, evidenced by the recent protests and acts of vandalism in Beijing (amongst others) against Japanese people, brands, and products.