One year in China. Let's do this!

Carbs All Day, Every Day

Noodles.  Rice.  Bread.  Noodles.  Rice.  Bread.  Noodles.

This country is the land of carbs.  Every meal is loaded with them.  After two weeks, the sight of noodles made my stomach hurt.  I needed some good old salads and fruits in my diet once more.

But the fear of unwashed fruits and veggies was rattling my brain, making me stick with some steamed buns and heaping bowls of noodles instead.  In Chinese, the word for diarrhea is “la duzi”, or “spicy stomach”, and I just imagined my fruit and veggie consuming experience ending up being extremely…spicy.

Me: "Is that a weird potato?!" Friend: "No Charlotte, that's a lotus."

Me: “Is that a weird potato?!”
Friend: “No Charlotte, that’s a lotus.”

My co-workers had been raving about the wet market.  They whipped up dishes of pure delight, filled with healthy options – juicy tomatoes, mushrooms cooked to perfection,  wonderfully steamed bok choy.  I was jealous.  So I put my spicy stomach fears aside and headed to the wet market.

The first experience at the indoor wet market made me want to retreat into a corner and cry.  I went at the crack of dawn.  Worst decision ever.  The vendors were all setting up for the day, so there was trash everywhere.  Empty boxes were gathered in the walkways.  The overpowering odor of fish and meat and tofu was a bit much for my 6am nose.  I scampered on out of the market and envisioned my May 2014 self as a walking noodle.

Two more days passed and another day of exploring the city rolled around.  As we approached our apartment after an afternoon of adventures, we stumbled once more on the wet market.  Unlike last time where the stalls were being set up, the market was in full swing, the mess had been swept away, and everything looked delicious.

They went all out, buying bags upon bags of veggies for their dinner.  Yum!

They went all out, buying bags upon bags of veggies for their dinner. Yum!

The bitter melon is a fan favorite here in Shanghai.  The things look like genetically mutated massive zucchinis. People select a chunk for purchasing and the vendor then preps it for the customer.

The bitter melon is a fan favorite here in Shanghai. The things look like genetically mutated massive zucchinis. People select a chunk for purchasing and the vendor then preps it for the customer.

While my two friends were prepping for a big dinner, I just craved some fresh fruits.

Dragon fruit, kiwi, and pears – I finally bought something at the wet market and I felt oh-so-grownup and oh-so-Chinese.

Mommy, wow, I'm a big girl now.  Look at me and my first fruit purchase from a wet market!

Mommy, wow, I’m a big girl now. Look at me and my first fruit purchase from a wet market!

Next week, I plan to venture back to no-carb-land, an oh so heavenly place just around the corner from my apartment, to stock up on some veggies and make my first foray into salad making from produce from the wet market.

The bok choy lady wanted to sell them about 35 pounds of bok choy and just kept shoving the vegetables into a bag even as we said NO NO NO.  What a great sales technique.

The bok choy lady wanted to sell them about 35 pounds of bok choy and just kept shoving the vegetables into a bag even as we said NO NO NO. What a great sales technique.

What's that in the bucket?  No clue.  Will I be eating that?  Thanks but no thanks.  I think I will stick with carrots, thank you very much.

What’s that in the bucket? No clue. Will I be eating that? Thanks but no thanks. I think I will stick with carrots, thank you very much.

And with some luck, the plague of the spicy stomach will stay away for one more day.

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Categorised in: Noms, Shanghai Stories

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