Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day, Beijing Style

For the most part, Valentine's Day is moderately popular here in China.  Young adult Chinese, who like to embrace Western traditions, are the ones you see carrying bouquets of flowers along the street. 

For us, we didn't have any solid plans until mid afternoon when hubby's associates decided to put together a dinner. Since E had a late night at school, D and I met up with hubby at the New Otani hotel for some romantic accounting talk.
 This fella greeted us as we entered the restaurant. It was a buffet-style restaurant featuring Beijing duck, sushi, traditional Chinese faire and pizza (?). 

 All the tables were decorated with red roses and lots of pink.
 Each male received this tulle wrapped box of chocolates. Each female received a long stem red rose.

That is not all the males and females received...
Bird's Nest Soup
 ...each female was served a bowl of Bird's Nest Soup. It is a very expensive delicacy (bowls range from $30USD - $100 USD). Do you know why it is a delicacy? First off, only certain birds make their nests out of their spit! Yes, I said spit! (I am seeing a spit fettish here in China) This soup is made from spit nests...I am not trying to be disrespectful, this is how a Chinese person explained it to me. The second reason it is a delicacy, and the reason the women got this soup, is because it is thought to enhance the skin of women.

And for the men?
 Well, of course the men received a bowl of Sea Cucumber Soup. Sea Cucumber is thought to be an aphrodisiac for men. I guess the thought was for the women's skin to look radiant and the men to be hot and bothered. After all, it is Valentine's Day! 

BUT...I did not eat my Bird's Nest Soup ( I am good with my skin), hubby ate it. You know, I am beginning to notice his pores looking awfully nice.
The group of associates 
 Here is my Valentine!
The Gift
 Last weekend we were at the flower market (I had a hankering to buy an indoor water fountain...didn't find one I liked) and we found two watercolor paintings that we really liked. The wife of the artist runs the booth. We decided that for Valentine's Day we would buy two of his paintings.

The artist name is Zhu Dan. These are paintings of hutongs in Houhai, but we have hutongs just like these near our apartment. We thought they would make a nice keepsake to remember our time here in Beijing.

And if the Bird's Nest Soup wasn't enough for you...check out this tree made of Ferrero Rocher chocolates!
Happy Valentine's Day!

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I laughed out loud at your comment about the the "romantic accounting talk..." I could totally picture you at that table! I'm so glad to see REAL chocolate is not missing from your China experience. That would be way too much to handle!