China 2011/2012

DATE: 2011-11-22

Tonight Wu Yang (吴洋) and Hu Qingxu (胡庆旭) picked me up at the office and together we went out for dinner. Since I had quite a lot to do we decided against going into Shoushan. So, Heping or Naijun? I had not been to Naijun and Hu said it was "like two minutes from here" so I thought, why not? I quickly regretted my choice as those two minutes turned into something more like ten minutes and the snow was storming around us. The character 廼 is the traditional form of "nai" (乃) and is rare enough to stump most who come here, the chef and owner Mr. Zhao (赵哥, furthest right in the picture) proudly told us. The name is a remnant from the owner before the previous one, and he liked it and decided to keep it. Since coming here was Hu's idea we let him order up some specialties. This included booze as it is the quickest way to raise your body temperature (or so I hear). But when it is this cold outside and Chinese houses are this poorly insulated, the booze is going to be cold too. What to do? You put it in a water-bath and you get..."warm booze" (温酒)! Hu, who often comes here for dinner and is well aquainted with Mr. Zhao, really, REALLY tried to get him to drink with us, but after half a dozen polite refusals he changed tactics. Instead Hu jokingly had me ask, since the Chinese concept of "face" would prevent him from refusing a request from such an "distinguished" guest. Lo and behold, it worked! Although, he only had beer as he had been drinking the day before. Really nice guy. Too bad his restaurant is so far away and the weather so cold.