On June 18th, XIANEASE and Viva Xi’an host our first Bikes and Barbeque event. That morning, our participants met at a bike shop in the east of Xi’an and started a pleasant climb through the Qinling Mountains, ultimately ending at our BBQ spot, a campground in Bailuyuan.
My name is Justyna Szumigala. I’ve been living in Xi’an for 4 years, working for the same company, EF. I am currently a director of studies at EF Chang’An. I’ve been travelling around the world for more than 10 years, teaching English in different countries of Europe, Africa, and Asia. When I don’t teach, I like to do yoga and belly dance.
This month the AWE (Aspiring Women for Excellence) association held its one year anniversary party at Latin Bar. The event was held to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness with the funds being donated to the Xi’an Cancer Rehabilitation Association. One of the charity’s Pink Ribbon cancer survivors drum groups started the evening with a lively performance.
Fine Wines and Good Times
The end of May in Xi’an was, in a word, HOT. Cub Grocery is here to save us with cold beverages and tasty food.
For lunch, we visited the Cub Grocery in Qujiang in Liangzichen 量子晨, part of a hip new chain of café/bar/restaurant/wine stores with three other locations: one inside the city wall, one in northern Xi’an in Weiyang District, as well as a new location opening near south gate. Each location has its own kind of style and atmosphere. For example, the Weiyang Cub Grocery has a rooftop and the new location opening by south gate will focus on entertainment. The location we visited at Liangzichen has a weekly DJ and plaza to host events. It offers a comfy space for getting tipsy and being social, all in a relaxed environment.
A humble restaurant that punches well above its weight
As summer arrives and Xi’an starts heating up, the restaurant scene in Xi’an is clearly trying to keep pace with the rising temperatures. There are so many new restaurants and each new location turns up the heat.
For no restaurant is this truer than Yakitori, opened this May. Literally meaning “grilled bird,” yakitori is a Japanese type of skewer cuisine, usually chicken barbecue over charcoal and seasoned with a tare sauce (a kind of sweetened and/or thickened soy sauce) or salt. And this is exactly what is on offer here. As you walk through the door, it’s hard to say what you notice first – the large grill and exhaust hood, or the wash of mouth-watering aromas.
The bread isn’t sweet. I could probably end the review right there and it would be enough to get you to go to Ugly Bread, a bakery that has recently opened at the 西影Time Shopping Plaza next to the Movie Park. But that would be doing this shop a disservice, as they are doing much more than simply making savory bread. Opened with the idea that bread should taste good, this bakery is serving up bread with some unique and delicious flavor combos, as well as some classics bound to make you happy.
Tea is part of the inextricable cultural heritage of China. Legend states that tea was discovered by the Chinese emperor Shen Nong, and it is a beverage that has been carefully cultivated and enjoyed by the Chinese people ever since. A good cup of tea is refreshing and revitalizing, and the art of good tea preparation is what separates tea from hot leaf juice. While tea shops abound in Xi’an, there seem to be two main styles, traditional tea shops that are often stuffy and ornately decorated, with hundreds of teas to choose from that can be intimidating for the non-expert; and the modern tea shop where the tea tends to be more fruit juice than tea, and there is so much sugar that the delicate flavors of the tea and the health benefits are lost entirely. However there is a new place that looks to find a happy medium between the archaic tea shop and the modern coffee shop – DAHUA Tea Lounge.
While cities are nice, with all the cafes, restaurants, and shopping malls you might desire, during the summer months, the city becomes a bit unbearable due to the heat, mugginess, and general lack of patience that comes with it. What you need sometimes is an escape. Luckily, the mountains surrounding the city offer a variety of refuges, from camping sites to hiking trails, mountain inns and mountain springs. While getting out can be a bit difficult without transportation, it is possible.
Why, you might ask, am I pitting such two wildly different movie “franchises” (awful word) against each other? Well, there are more similarities than you might discover at first glance. Let’s compare.
Both sagas started out around the middle of the last century, (Godzilla in 1955, Bond seven years later), they both started out as straightforward, comparatively serious entries into their respective genres, which are the giant monster flick (that had its roots in King Kong and 20,000 Fathoms) and the spy caper movie (co-founded by Alfred Hitchcock) respectively. They both gradually developed a winning formula that steered them into more escapist territory during the sixties, only to simultaneously go for complete campy silliness during the 70s. Latter development was owed to Godzilla director Jun Fukuda and Bond actor Roger Moore, equally misunderstood and underrated masters in the art of high camp.
No , no , Yukun! You must wait for Granny to move the chopsticks first. ” Yukun is my Chinese first name and that is what my mother would often say when I broke the Chinese table rules during meals. Coming back to China in the summer of 2003 after living in the states for 8 years, I was only 12. I was a total stranger when it came to Chinese eating etiquettes. Let me share some eating rules and table manners with you to make your dining much more convenient and enjoyable when eating Chinese food in China.