Last night while at a restaurant with friends in Beijing, I had one of those quintessential China interactions. It was beastly hot, so I ordered a can of Coke to go with my meal.
The waitress responded, “hot or cold?”
Lest you think she was off her rocker, hot coke is a thing here!
Not the Real Thing
Last week I attended a conference at the Asia World Expo in Hong Kong, a large convention center near the airport. Given it’s rather remote location, there are no eating places nearby (except at the terminal). And surprisingly, within the complex itself I only spotted a Subway and a Starbucks.
So how do you feed 3000+ conference attendees? You line them up and give them box lunches. Like this: (email readers, go here to see the vide0)
One of the lines I found myself in was serving a box lunch with pork chops a potatoes. When that was announced, the people in line behind me exclaimed, “What, no rice? That will never do!” and then hightailed it to another line.
Once we got our box lunches we were directed to return to our seats in the large meeting room and eat there.
It was amazingly efficient!
My sister and I spent the better part of this week traversing the western United States on our drive home from a family reunion in Oregon. The timing of the reunion coincided with my mom’s 90th birthday. We all gathered outside of Bend, the city where she grew up.
My mom (aka Gracie) was born in Westbrook, MN in 1927. In 1931, when she was just four years old, she and her 3 siblings and her parents climbed into a Model A and headed west. Their destination was Bend, Oregon, where her father had accepted a call to be the pastor of the First Baptist Church.
Even though she was very young when she made the trip, she still has quite a few memories of the drive. One story she told us was of stopping at a “town” in the Oregon desert, east of Bend called Millican. “There was just one building,” she told us. “I remember it because we all thought it was so funny that a town would only have one building.”
On Monday, as my sister and I were driving across the Oregon desert (my mom and brother-in-law having left by plane earlier in the day), we were on the look-out for the one-building “town” of Millican. Sure enough, it was there, only the establishment that may or may not have been there in 1931 was definitely closed! Why it is listed on the map is a mystery.
And if you ever have the chance to drive across the desert of eastern Oregon, do it! It’s gorgeous!
We are back home now, and declare the two weeks of birthday celebrations officially over!