Hot Pot on a Cold Day

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We heard of the ‘Hot Pot’-phenomenon shortly after arriving in China.

Every morning as I walk from our simple apartment to classes, I walk past a ‘Hot Pot’-spot.

Then we’re invited.

Lunch.

Hot Pot.

Wow!

What a stunning way to dine.

The table is set with meats, vegetables & the most stunning bread.

Each guest has a hot pot, which is constantly filled with a kind of soup.

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And then you feast.

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Putting in your pot whatever your heart desires.

Waiting for it to cook.

Then eating, while adding some more scrumptiousness to your pot.

On arrival we’re served ‘sweet milk tea’.

Then the tray with spices arrive.

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Everyone flavours their pot to perfection.

Drinks are served.

And along with drinks, a wild succession of toasts.

To health.

Happiness.

Success.

That we may feel welcomed.

That we may love our time here.

We’ve come to love Chinese Beer.

At a meal your glass is never empty.

We’ve come to love Chinese warmth.

You’re always embraced.

The meal lingers for hours.

Conversation is easy.

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We love the slow pace.

The time taken to enjoy.

I nibble on a piece of sweet bread.

Zuko picks a piece of corn bread.

A perfect little ball, sprinkled with sesame seeds, at its centre, colorful sweet beans.

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The waiters are always hovering.

This is our second opportunity at an upmarket restaurant, all of them sporting private rooms.

With its own bathroom & lounge.

The waiters don’t use pencil and paper.

They type our orders into a little device. Minutes later the food appear, beautifully displayed on fine China plates.

These people are exquisitely cultured.

Ancient customs filling every moment of their existence.

We’re glad to be here.

Grateful.

Humbled by generosity & kindness.

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