Feb 10 08

Bet you didn't know niacin is an important nutrient to consume during the winter to help keep warm. Check out this article on the Chinese ways to keep warm. http://www1.chinaculture.org/chineseway/2008-01/03/content_126264.htm

I'm cooking some Xinjiang style beef, with tomato and cumin sauce, sauteed onion, garlic, potato and carrot. At the last minute I will add some pepper pieces. In a short while I will start the rice. I just wonder about the stove I use. The part that holds up the pan or pot is painted with some kind of paint that burns off a little more each time I use it. It's a bit noxious. I wonder how it compares to the outdoor pollution. The past few days the weather has been the same. It starts off sunny, beautiful, and as the day grows longer the clouds (pollution?) start to blot out the sun by afternoon.

I took the subway to Zhongshan park, what looks to be a large green area on the city map. When I stepped off of the subway, I entered into a supermall. I have been in more malls in the past 3 weeks than I think I have been in in 3 years in the states. I walked around for a while, on 2 levels, and realized that there were 9 further levels above, and 2 far below I hadn't seen. So I went outdoors to look around. I walked down the block to the park, which is walled off and in total disrepair. How silly of me. Who would want to wander through a green place with trees and grass and plants when one can spend hours in the mall...I'll have to go back to Pudong across the river to find some green areas. It was really quiet out there along the riverside park the other day. I can also try riding out further west, as I live already on the western edges of the city proper.

There is a bridge a few blocks away I wanted to examine; the day is still young. There is an abandoned orthodox church a few blocks away. I keep imagining I will stumble upon a Xinjiang restaurant somewhere in my neighborhood. Xinjiang is the northwestern province in China, where the native people are caucasions, Uiguhrs, famous for their raisins and the silk road route. I enjoy their cuisine.

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