Rescued by New Friends
Shanghai Travel Blog› entry 50 of 174 › view all entries
October 28th, 2009 – by: domnicella
I met up with Bev, a friend of my friend Lisa's, whom I electronically reached out to before embarking on this trip of mine. We went to Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese restaurant specializing in soup dumplings, located in the midst of a very happening ex-pat area. I overheard more English (and French) than I've heard since I left the States. It felt like home. And I was very, very under dressed. The whole travel thing has been great and all, but being forever costumed as a backpacker is starting to bruise my ego.
With the help of Mandarin-fluent Bev I was able to order my first 100% vegetarian meal in China. And it was DELICIOUS. I had big soft steamed vegetarian buns stuffed with spinach and mushrooms, and Taiwanese noodles in a slightly spicy peanut sauce. Soooo yummy. We split a plate of Asian greens, and Bev had pork soup dumplings (the house special). I was a very happy camper. From Din Tai Fung we hopped in a cab and went to a restaurant with fantastic Taiwanese desserts. We shared two different iced treats: one with fresh mangos and coconut milk, topped with fresh pumelo, and one that was a creamy milky ice, half black sesame and half peanut. They were soooo good! Amazing. Loved them both.
Thanks to Bev I had the best night (and meal) in China yet. Everything was delicious, and it was SO NICE to talk with someone from my own background, who felt and perceived things the way I did, yet also had the enormous perk of being able to speak the native language and help navigate certain cultural hurdles for me. (She was also a wonderful resource in the Chinese politics department.) She helped pick Shanghai back up for me, and really turned around an otherwise ugly day. So grateful. Thanks Bev!
Seeing as the dessert place wasn't that far and I was familiar with the part of the city we were in, I opted to walk home (rather than subway). It was a nice enough night, and I had a full tummy to walk off.
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