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Working in China – Dumpling Day and Cantina Chopstick Fun

Leaving India to live and work in China meant saying goodbye to the chai wallas and their constant flow of yummy sweet home-brewed tea and saying hello a whole different kind of ‘cantina’ corporate culture.  And so far it’s all sunshine and rainbows I must say!

Everything is new at the moment so I am sure I look like an absolute dork running around the office and snapping photos of, what for everyone else is, normal life but it simply has to be done.  Here are three of the most fun things for me so far that I’ve discovered in this first week at my new job in Beijing:

number 1Tea on the Loose! 

After the Germans, the Chinese have always held my heart for the best tea in the world (sorry, India!).  At my new company, the lovely ladies who watch over us keep a healthy stock and variety of tea – all loose, not in bags, and all simply wonderful!  Green and red tea seems to be the preference and it’s nice to not require milk for a change with tea.  Feels just a bit healthier, which given how well the Chinese take care of themselves compared to other countries I’m guessing that tea is just another way they do it.  Now, the one funny thing for me is that the loose tea is not steeped in mono-dosis bags like the Germans use or little mini metal tea filters that are so common elsewhere.  I was told to just sort of nibble and consume the tea leaf bits that I drank in!  Well, I tried it but that’s not my cup of tea so I bought mini filters for me and my team this weekend at IKEA 🙂

number 2Chopsticks are all the rage! 

I’m blonde but not that blonde.  I knew that chopsticks were the primary utensil with Chinese cuisine but it was pretty fun to actually see it in action.  Where the cantina would typically store silverware in other countries, at my new office we have a huge standing holder that has dozens upon dozens of chopsticks that are sooooo very cool.  I have to say that I enjoy watching people gobble up their lunch with chopsticks just as much as I first did in India, watching people eat with their hands.

number 3Lunch becomes a FEAST every two weeks on Dumpling Day! 

First of all, it’s lovely that there is a bi-weekly company lunch that helps promote a united a team and build relationships between departments.  I really like that very much!  What makes it even better is that the ladies in the office who watch out for us make it extra special by making homemade dumplings there on-site for everyone to enjoy.  The day before Dumpling Day, the refrigerators are filled with fresh vegetables and meat and everything they need to whip up this magnificent feast.  Then they set about making up hundreds of dumplings for everyone to enjoy – it is truly wonderful!  Their production process looks completely professional and they taste fabulous!

Working in China will have many interesting challenges and benefits I’m sure.  So far I’m loving it and the new adventures that appear each day!


© 2014, Angela Carson and All rights reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

Angela Carson

At 21 I left uni, jumped into my Jeep Wrangler, and drove from my native California to live an adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I've explored 37 countries on 4 continents, residing in 8 of them (currently Indonesia's Riau Islands is my home). I even have a private pilot's license and was shot at once by bandits!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Lakshmi

    Ooh, lovely photos, Angela! Makes me want to cook up a meal with fresh veggies. One thing we Indians noticed about Chinese (and East Asian cuisine) in general, is the abundance of fresh, lightly cooked, still crispy vegetables.

    Indian food, though yummy and great for vegetarians, tends to overcook vegetables. Of course, there are some vegetables such as okra, bitter gourd, snake gourd and various cousins from the pumpkin family, that cannot be eaten raw or would be really hard to chew, if done so.

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