Monday, November 21, 2005

Tang Yuan & and the first day of winter

Like the southern states of the US, it doesn't exactly get "cold," here, when winter starts, even though people here consider it so. I mean, how cold is 10C (50F), anyway? That's about the coldest I've seen it get here, so far, but of course, today is the start of winter, so maybe there is colder to come (looking forward to that!). Of course, 10C *is* considered cold, even to me, if I'm inside a building and that's what it is, inside. So, what is odd, at least to me, is that not so many people here have heat in their apartments/houses. Some companies don't have heat in their office-buildings, either. And even, here, where we *do* have heat, and the temperature is the same as if it were summer, people wear their down jackets. I find it very funny, and even took a picture of a couple of my team members with their jackets on in the normal course of their work. . .

So, for this first day of winter, the tradition, here, is to eat Tang Yuan, which is a nice hot soup of gooey rice balls. The rice balls can be smallish round balls, or they can be rather largish (US quarter-sized) with "stuff" in them. The "stuff" can be a watery paste of sesame (my favorite), peanut, red bean, or possibly others that I've yet to see.

So, happy winter to you all (I know that I've heard that Oregonians are enjoying a nice snow and not so nice freezing rain)!


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