Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pork Dumplings, Chicken Dumplings, Beef Dumplings, Fish Dumplings, Duck Dumplings, Dumpling Soup....

I started this blog post three days ago, it's taking forever to get this one ready! So I hope you enjoy what I have to share today.

So in one day, we did an 8-mile bike ride around the city walls of Xi'an, were amazed at the sight of the terracotta army, and visited the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. To finish off the day, we had Xi'an's famous dumpling dinner and a Tang Dynasty show. So here we are:

Missy and I made the boys sit together *snicker* While everyone was getting seated for dinner, they had a musician playing a...well, I have no clue what this instrument is:

It's got strings and I don't remember if she plucked the strings or if she hit them with mallets. Whichever, it was pretty neat.

The mural to one side of the stage...I dunno, looks more Indian to me than Chinese, but what do I know? So anyway, here are three of the many varieties of dumplings we were served:

A lot of the dumplings were made to somewhat resemble whatever wsa in them. So the ones in the back are pork (the red dots are piggy eyes), the ones on the left were shaped like ducks although you can't tell from this angle, and the other ones were cabbage and mushroom.

See the look on Lee's face? I think if you looked up "askance" in the dictionary, you'd see this picture ;) Honestly though, he tried a lot more of the dumplings than I did. For example, I simply will not eat seafood.

Even if it looks like a fish with peas for eyes. Maybe even *especially* if it looks like a fish with peas for eyes.

But see, I did eat some of the dumplings :) In case you're curious, I had my trusty little red notebook out and I wrote down all the different kinds of dumplings we were served:
First set--duck (Bennet's favorite), pork, cabbage & mushroom
Second set--fried dumpling with pork
Third set--beef & peanut, pickle & rice noodle, vegetarian
Fourth set--shrimp, hot & spicy pork (Missy's favorite), shark fin
Fifth set--pork with leek boiled dumpling (Lee's favorite)
Sixth set--fish (see above)
Seventh set--hot pot, which was tiny dumplings in chicken flavor soup. If you get one dumpling in your soup, it means you will have a good journey (Missy got one); if you get two, it means double happiness (Lee and Bennet both got two, they should be doubly happy to have such wonderful wives as me and Missy, don't you think?); and three means life gets better and better (which is what I got).
Eighth set--chicken, seafood, and a sweet dumpling

It was a lot of dumplings.

Anyway, after dinner was over, we were treated to a Tang Dynasty show. The Tang Dynasty was one of the fifteen Chinese dynasties who used Xi'an as their capital. The show is a reproduction of some of the dances, music, etc. from that period.

There were ten acts; this one was the first. Heavy on the percussives with some stringed instruments and one lone flute player.

Missy took a short video so you can get a quick sense of what we saw...

This was a group of young women performing the "White Sleeve Dance," which, according to the program, was a kind of folk dance that was popular during the Tang Dynasty.

These were the Masked Warriors. The eyes on the big mask behind the dancers lit up red during their performance which was slightly creepy :) Honestly, this one reminded me of an episode of the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender (the cartoon is fabulous, you should go see it. The movie...well, the special effects were good! K, the movie wasn't horrible, but I prefer the cartoon.)

This dude started out with a trumpet solo and then he did the most amazing thing that sounded like bird calls without the benefit of an instrument. We were in awe; check out this little snippet of his performance:

I think these ladies were from the eighth act, the Fairy Dance. An emperor had a dream that he visited the realm of the fairies and the palaces on the moon, so when he woke up he composed a piece of music based on the dream and his favorite concubine choreographed a dance to go with it.

This is from the last act of the show, that's the show's "emperor" and "empress" (or maybe the favorite concubine, I don't know *wink*).

So yep, that was the Tang Dynasty show. I was kind of surprised that any of the pictures turned out at all given the low lighting conditions, so that was a nice surprise. Anyway, we only had a half a day more in Xi'an after this, so I'll be back in a day or two with more pictures.


CCsMom said...

LOVED the bird man!!! He's cute. Lee can be so expressive in his pictures. Cracks me up.

Hey, the picture of you and Lee with little Emma was SO CUTE. And you didn't look at all ackward holding her. Hmmm?!

Anyway, headed out to the Totty's this afternoon. Haven't seen them in awhile and Mr. Totty sounded good on the phone. They always ask about you, so I'll get to tell them about your trip to China and that you'll be home soon. Love you!

Christy Lynn said...

I wasn't holding Emma, Mom--LEE was!

Thoughts by B and M said...

We did do a LOT in ONE day, didn't we? Don't you LOVE taking vacations with me?;)