Sunday afternoon brought another fun morning at the market near our hotel. It is very enjoyable to walk around the local market and look at the great variety of fruits and some completely unknown items. The experience of buying food in the market is also an interesting one with my inability to speak in the native language at all. I have begun to catch on to what foods are popular among the locals by observing what they purchase and following their lead. Although there is a language barrier I have found that you can get around and order food with a little bit of pertinence and skillful pointing. I tried a noodle bowl with veggies, spices, a peanut butter type sauce and a vinegar sauce included. The cost of food is quite staggering and you can often eat lunch for less than one USD.
Later on Sunday we went with the Nankai students to a traditional Chinese BBQ. This experience was once again a new dining activity to myself. The process starts with an individual filling their basket with the foods that they would like to have grilled. You then sit down and wait for the food to be brought to the table that you are sitting at. I noticed that in the busy and chaotic atmosphere that it would be quite simple to get up and walk away after your meal without paying for the food. I asked one of the students if there is ever a problem with "dining-and-ditching" as we often pay for meals after we eat and no one shoves a bill in your face. I was told that there is not a problem with people leaving without paying. I assume this has to do with the collectivist culture and preserving harmony within the society. These values or morals are quite strong from my observations and more important than an individual's desires.