A lot of people asked me before I came back to China what the food was like here. It was always very difficult for me to answer, mainly because of three reasons:
A.) Their customs are different. At most Chinese restaurants, plates of food are put onto a revolving platter in the middle of a round table. Everybody crowds around and takes what they want with chopsticks, not thinking twice about double-dipping or pickin g around the parts of the dish that they may or may not like. A spoon is very rarely used, and forks are only seen at very Western (or wannabe Western) restaurants.
B.) There is as much, if not more, variety in Chinese food as there is in American food. Initially, they may all look similar, but upon further inspection, ingredients are prepared in a variety of different ways and put together into different combinations and then seasoned with different spices to make them tangy, sweet, spicy, etc.
C.) Many Chinese dishes are not vegetarian. For this reason, meals are often hit-or-miss for me. While, on one hand, ingredients such as rice, vegetables, bamboo, and tofu are very commonplace, on the other hand, these are often combined with fish, lamb, beef, pork, chicken, or other meat. Luckily, in my group, one person doesn't eat pork, and one person doesn't eat pork or beef, so efforts made by our professor to specifically order vegetarian food are not in vain.
I generally enjoy Chinese food, though sometimes I wonder if I will still like it at the end of three months. Hopefully, I will grow to appreciate it more. While I probably eat less here and walk more, especially on this tour, when our eating times are strictly assigned, I'm pretty sure that more butter, for instance, is used, so I believe that the pros and cons in terms of weight loss or gain will balance out. We'll see how I feel once I get involved in either an extracurricular exercise class and/or a regular workout routine.