Today some of the Chinese students took us to a Chinese BBQ. First off, we decided to ride the bus there which was incredibly packed, so different from the DTA in Minnesota. You definitely see a large number of buses running throughout the city all day, and people are packed in there like sardines. When we got off the bus we were outside of the sprawling market where maybe a hundred different vendors were selling a large variety of foods. There were little tables around most of the shops where people could sit and eat and socialize. The market was very crowded and loud and it took a little time to find enough seating for all of us. Once we did, we went to a particular vendor where we picked out skewers of a mix of foods and then sat down while the cooked them and brought them to us. Definitely had some great food and tried some things I didnt like. While eating though I couldn't help but notice that the US lacks anything to resemble these markets...maybe state fairs or carnivals, but nothing to this extent. Many people here rely on these markets to eat and eat cheaply, as well as to come socialize. In the US if you eat out, you are more likely to have someone wait on you and then bring you food...so you are never really interacting with strangers. Perhaps this is while Chinese networks and personal friendships extend much wider than in the US. That could also be from the drastic increase in population density here as well. Overall i thoroughly enjoyed the Chinese BBQ and love the market atmosphere that is so prevalent here.
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