AWE MEETING RECAP

September Workshop Recap
On September 4th, 2021, AWE (Aspiring Women for Excellence) Association held its first workshop “Empowered for Crucial and Difficult Conversations” at the Amazon Web Services Joint Innovation Center.
The day began with opening remarks from Gosia, an AWE founder. She shared how AWE was set up as a platform to bring together professional women to share their experiences and support each other. Members originate from a variety of countries like China, Poland, Italy, the U.S., and Iran, and includes women who excel in a wide range of different fields, including education, biomedical research, archaeology, banking, the film industry, and even astrophysics.

MOZAI Japanese 未在日式居酒屋

Over the past several years, I have been to many Japanese restaurants in Xi’an – from the high-end fine-dining experience to the corporate sushi chains. Each has its own benefits, and you can often find very decent food at each, but still there is something lacking – a personal touch. During a previous trip to Japan, I had the opportunity to dine at several small, family-run restaurants, and in each you could feel the influence that the owner had on the place, and often, you could meet them as they would either be working the floor or be in the kitchen. However, there is a place in Xi’an were you can get that home-like touch – Mozai Japanese Restaurant.

Trip Cocktail Bar 郊游

D o you ever feel like bars in Xi’an can be a bit… serious? Many a cocktail bar here in the city tends to aim at the higher-end, more refined audience, with bartenders in vests and ties carefully mixing classic combination. And while there will always be a time and place for that kind of thing, there are also times where you just want to relax in a fun and creative atmosphere.
That is exactly the goal of On Trip, a bar named after a famous Japanese movie. In this bar you won’t find any overstuffed leather chairs or perfectly dressed waiters. Instead, what greets you in this small side alley bar is a brightly colored and cartoon filled mishmash of different styles that still manage to come together in a wild, but harmonious way. Everything from the decorations to the menu screams of a creative spirit.
The creativity also extends to the cocktails on the menu, which features a wide variety of innovative cocktails of a variety of strengths and flavors. The menu is almost entirely in Chinese, but there are enough hand-drawn picture and clues to show you an idea of what you will get, though it might just be fun to go at random and see what you end up with.
The first drink of the night was chosen for the coconut palm and peanut symbols in the description. The drink that came out was far different than any cocktail that I had tried before. It looked more like a Thai dessert that a cocktail, with an assortment of tiny mason jars full of ingredients to add and a spoon. This would be a first, drinking a cocktail with a spoon, but the rum accented coconut milk mixed well with the peanut flakes, red bean, coconut jelly and watermelon. Honestly, you almost don’t recognize the rum inside, but the overall effect is quite pleasant, and it is fun to eat.
We also had another drink that tasted of watermelon, passion fruit, and peach, mixed with a bit of vodka. It was exceptionally light and fruity, and once again not very strong. It was then that we noticed that each of the drinks is labelled according to their strength, with many having a low (less than 10%) alcohol content.
Looking for something stronger, we ordered the two strongest drinks on the Creative Cocktails menu. The first promised whiskey, cinnamon and smoke and delivered nicely on all three. The drink came under a glass dome that was clouded by the smoke within. Unveiling the drink was a show within itself, and the drink that was revealed was a mix of whiskey, clove, and cinnamon, with a nice hint of the smoke that the glass had been coated in. It was a nice sipping cocktail, with a large clear ice cube that melted slowly with the drink, so you could take your time without it being watered down.
The other drink to arrive was labeled as having white wine and osmanthus flavors to it, and came neat in a simple martini glass. This one tasted heavily of vermouth and would have been refreshing on a hot day.
The bar also serves different kinds of food, with a variety of delicious snack to keep you at the bar and drinking. We decided to try a few different varieties of snacks, including delicious fried chicken pieces, which were boneless and juicy. The chicken had been wrapped in shiso leaves before being battered and deep-fried, with added a pleasant grassy note to the chicken. We also tried their version of a Scotch egg, which was very lightly-seasoned, with a runny yolk and accompanying side-salad. Finally, there was a dish called ‘Octopus Meatballs’ which consisted of small sausages cut to resemble octopi, octopus balls, and plenty of shaved bonito flakes. All of the food was good and went well with the drinks.
To add to the creative vibe, the bar plays host to minor ‘exhibitions’ of non-serious art. The work currently on display is a series by an artist called ‘Dirty Monkey’ titled ‘Small Fart Little Dog’. The paintings cover some of the mirrors and other parts of the bar, and there are also little postcards and other memorabilia available if you want to take something home.
Overall, this is a nice little place, and if you are looking for something less serious, want to try some lower octane creative cocktails, or if you just want to check out something a little different, this might be a good place for you. The creative cocktails start at around 68RMB and go up from there, while the classic cocktails average 58RMB. The food is not that expensive either, with most items coming in at less than 30RMB. So if you’re in the area, and want something different, this place is for you.

A Look at Shaanxi Dialect

When most people think of the Chinese language, the first thing that comes to mind is how difficult it is to learn. After all, most foreigners who have come to live in China have, at some point, attempted to learn the language, with varying degrees of success. But when we say, “learn Chinese”, what we are actually referring to is Mandarin Chinese or standard Chinese. However, anyone who has attempted to have a conversation outside of a classroom has likely encountered a slight hiccup – dialects and accents.
Chinese language is actually composed of a wide variety of different dialects and accompanying accents. The good news is, most people under 30 likely speak with relatively unaccented Mandarin Chinese, with only a slight inflection here or there that may uncover an indication of where they are from. The older generations, though, are a different matter entirely. In either case, most people in China can speak at least two versions of Chinese, standard Mandarin and their hometown dialect.

Getting LASIK in Xi’an with Aier Eye Hospital Group

The need to wear glasses is increasingly commonplace in both adults and children. Whether due to a lack of outdoor activity, or more screen time than ever before, it’s estimated that around 75% of adults use some kind of vision correction. Even though it may seem like a prescription for glasses is a lifetime sentence, this is not necessarily the case. LASIK surgery has come a long way over the years, and the technology and techniques have improved to great success. And now you can get international quality eye surgery right here in Xi’an.

Bell Ginkgo 银杏餐吧 (钟楼店)

If you asked many foreigners what food they missed most from home while living in China, the answer would often be cheese. While this food is very popular throughout much of the world, it is decidedly less popular here in China, with only a few examples of processed milk solids that barely passes for the real deal. Outside of the occasional foreign enclave in tier 1 cities, cheese can be difficult to come by except through shady Taobao dealers. Sometimes you just want to be able to walk into a shop and pick out a cheese or two, preferable with some cured meats and pickles. Luckily, Bell Ginkgo Restaurant and Bar offers exactly that, at reasonable prices as well.

Puxian 璞鲜·台州菜·经典粤菜

For many foreigners, especially those who have limited abilities in Chinese language, high-end Chinese restaurants can be a little intimidating. There are often long lists of dishes with unfamiliar names, and unusual ingredients that make it hard to know exactly what you are getting. This leads many people to stay in a narrow path of eating the exact same dishes at the exact same restaurants for nearly their entire stay. This is a shame, as Chinese cuisine has a great variety of dishes and sub-cuisines within it, and there are numerous things to try. Once place to try a different kind of cuisine is to try the restaurant Puxian.

Jackpot777 Bar

I t’s rare to find a bar in Xi’an that takes so much care to explain their menu items to you. So when you do happen upon a bar that does so, it is a treasure. The bartenders took time to carefully craft each item, introduce it when serving, and to address any questions. And it wasn’t just for us, but also for other customers, too.

BEAVER’S 海狸

This year, it seems like new brunch places have opened up faster than international travel. However, Beaver’s has certainly distinguished itself from the rest. First of all, and most obvious, it filled with Canadian goodness. Whether it is the Canadian food they serve, the Canadian decorations they display, the Canadian goods they sell, or the good ole-fashioned Canadian friendliness, Beaver’s is a whole lot of Canada right here in Xi’an.

A Special Christmas Dinner at Hualuxe Xi’an Hi-Tech Zone

While hosting a Christmas dinner at your home or apartment is a great idea, sometimes you just want to have the Christmas cheer without worrying about the need to prepare for (and clean up after) a huge meal. Many of the hotels around town offer up a special meals around Christmas, with a huge range of dishes that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. One of these venues hoping to make an impact this Christmas is the Hualuxe hotel in Gaoxin.

The History of Christmas in China

Christmas has often been compared to Spring Festival in terms of its cultural importance within Western Culture, and there is some merit to the comparison. Both are winter-based holidays that are celebrated annually. Both are times of togetherness, family, and tradition. You could even draw parallels with Red Envelopes and giving gifts. However, it’s easy to forget that, while the practice is small, some local Chinese people like to celebrate this holiday as well, though often in a different way than you might expect. So this year, we thought we’d take a look at the history of this ubiquitous Western holiday, and how it got to the Middle Kingdom

Warm Winter Escapes

It’s a fact that some people just aren’t cold weather people. Whether you find the bitter winds a little too overbearing or you just don’t like having to layer up only to have your nose and ears still freezing off, winter weather is just not for everyone. With the extended amount of time off that the winter season brings, what with the Christmas and Spring Festival holidays, people often look at this time as an opportunity to travel to new places. Even though the coronavirus continues to restrict our movements abroad, there are still plenty of interesting places within China to explore that will allow you to step out of the cold zone and embrace a sunny day or two while getting to experience more of what China has to offer.

Snowscape Escapes – Cold Winter Travel Destinations

As the end of the year arrives, ice and snow begin appearing on the weather reports and the time for travel rapidly approaches as the largest block of time most have off comes in the form of Spring Festival. But with current restrictions in place, it is difficult to travel outside of the country, at least until things settle down a bit further. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stop traveling all together, as there are still plenty of place for you to explore within China. If you’re a fan of Winter wonderland escapes, then China has a plethora of destinations that are perfect to get that holiday vibe.

Role Models: Fatemeh

Can you introduce yourself? Job title, education, languages, hobbies, your family etc.
I am Fatemeh, Ph.D. in Astrophysics, Assistant Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University, mother of a beautiful son, and a wife of a wonderful man with a Ph.D. in Astrophysics with whom I work (laughing).
We had an emotionally supportive home environment. My father always asked us to set big dreams and goals and then make them real. My parents let me do it on my own. Make my own decisions in my life with consistent support. This made me a confident person. This is an effective way to help a person grow and develop. My father always asked us to choose role models and follow in their footsteps to achieve our goals. A role model teaches you never to give up and make an effort to improve, succeed, and make a difference. He also always encouraged us to have higher education. He said education illuminates a person’s mind and thinking.