Cheques My Ass Can’t Cash

I can’t win. I really can’t. I finally get my first pay cheque in like three months and decide I want to take the missus out to celebrate her recently landing of a yoga instructor job.

I’ve been dying to check out this Spanish restaurant, El Meson de Carmen, that is not too far away from my place in the Suzhou New District (SND/苏州新区). It is run by the parents of a student of mine, who is -appropriately enough- from Spain. It’s weird teaching a white girl. Just weird. She’s quite nice though, and as it turns out, her pops can cook!

We started with some tapas and sangria, and splurged on the lobster/seafood rice. It was all great – especially the sangria which brought back memories of drunken nights on Las Ramblas in Barcelona.

The food was awesome, and the free “teach-our-daughter-well” restaurant t-shirt and complimentary dessert didn’t hurt…

… until I got home.

Why is it my stomach can’t sort out that sometimes I’m going to eat Chinese food and sometimes I’m going to eat Western food – and it just needs to adjust. Why does it have to be as cranky as a newborn? It happens every time and there’s just nothing I can do about it – other than just sticking with one type of food, the blander the better.

That I love Sichuan and Hunan food to no end doesn’t help matters either. I just love spicy food, and as much as I enjoy a good perspiration ingesting it – I dislike the repeat sweats shortly there after. Spicy going in is spicy going out.

In the end, it gets put in with the likes of excessive drinking. I rather dislike waking up with a hangover, but that tends not to stop me from enjoying a few cold ones the night before… and it’s not going to stop me from revisiting El Meson de Carmen.

We’ll see how it reacts to some good ol’ BBQ tomorrow. Tomorrow is National Day and the kick off to the Mid-Autumn Festival (Oct. 6th) here in China; as such it is the start of my nine days vacation. Yeah, I was dying for a vacation, I had worked nearly four straight weeks without one (man, my life is hard!).

Part of tradition for this holiday is to eat mooncakes and apparently have a BBQ. This BBQ bit, as Maggie confirms, is very likely more a Taiwanese thing, as the mainlanders don’t seem to be into it. As I teach mostly Taiwanese people at my new school, it’s great validation for finding an excuse to put my new barbeque to use.

Provided the weather co-operates, I’ll be serving up chicken, beef kababs, and anything in the apartment or neighborhood that might do well on a grill. Steven and Hek seem to be down with joining me, and I’m certain a couple beers will be on the menu, as Maggie’s mom arrives on Monday. I love the woman dearly, but I’ve never spent more than a couple hours with her… nervous isn’t the word for how I feel… apprehensive.. discerning… anxious… these are getting warmer.

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