What’s for lunch?

yannan-mensa.jpg
Yannan canteen right after 12 noon.

Today I had lunch at Beida’s Yannan Shitang. This canteen features food from all parts of China and so far everything I tried there tasted quite well. There are a lot of counters each offering food from a certain region. Today I went to the counter that offers 粤口味 – Cantonese food. Unfortunately it’s really hard to read the handwritten names of the dishes that are served, so I mostly select a food because of it looks tasty…

For Chinese students lunch break is only 40 minutes. So we Germans are really lucky to have a one hour lunch break – so we could go to one of Beida’s canteens when it is less crowded. But at 12 noon, when everybody if off for lunch, the hunger lets us drive into the busy canteens with a stream of Chinese students. If you get your meal at that time, it’s likely that you are unable to find a seat and just eat while standing, as the Chinese do. I guess the Chinese term 熱鬧 (renao) describes this situation very well, my dictionary translates it to “lively; buzzing with excitement; lively scene; merriment.”

Welcome dinner
Professor Zhang during his welcome speech. The banner in the back was only created for this occasion.

More relaxing was the welcome dinner that was organized by the philosophy faculty (where we were paying our tuition to…): At this “banquet” everybody ate as much as he or she could but the plates never seemed to go empty. The only thing that was not available any more at the end of the dinner was Tsingtao Beer…
It was interesting that the dinner lasted exactly 90 minutes, as our German teacher had predicted. Obviously all kind of business banquets have a set duration of one and a half hour, so the host seemed to get a little impatiant after 85 minutes because none of us Germans was about to leave. Well, we eventually left the dining hall at the scheduled time to continue our gathering in a cafe right across the street and everybody was happy.

PS: There are some photos at my Flickr page, just follow the link at the right to see my latest pictures!

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3 Responses to “What’s for lunch?”

  1. feaverman Says:

    I had Tsingtao Beer once. I really liked it. What does Tsingtao stand for? Is it the name of a city? There is also a chinese restaurant in Jever with that name.

  2. beijing07 Says:

    Yes, you’re right, Tsingtao is the name of a city. Today the name of the city is written Qingdao, but the brand of the beer was never changed.
    By the way: The brewery was founded by Germans because Qingdao was under German occupation between 1897 and 1914.

  3. Chinese City Without Bicyles? Two Days in Chongqing « Beijing 2007 Says:

    […] city itself is very vivid, and the people like “renao” places, as my Chongqing friend said. Since we had a relaxing day after these two days so I went to a bar […]

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