Thursday, March 22, 2012 do with the price of tea in China...

This is the tea shop that is in the front of the Lotus Supermarket.  This bag of Jasmine Tea was 7 RMB (yuan).  The exchange rate is approx 6 RMB = 1 USD.  The bags of regular green tea are very cheap compared to US prices.  All the tea is loose leaf.  I also found dried lavender which makes great tea in the evening.  We have a hot water dispenser in our apt, so that is handy. 

On the weekend we went in the McDonald's which is about a 15 minute walk from here.  I mainly wanted to try the french fries and see how they compared.  They were excellent.  You could tell absolutely no difference from the ones we have in the US.  A medium fry is 9RMB.

Here is our shopping bag after a shopping trip to try to find snacks.  The Orion Pies are...yes, their version of Moon Pies.  Fairly good.  The dried kiwi is excellent, esp b/c it doesn't have that weird salty flavor that seems to permeate many of the other dried fruit snacks.  The little bag in the front is little cups of jello type things.  I like them.  Ben doesn't.  The bag in the upper right contains individually wrapped dried apples.  They are about the size of prunes, with seeds still in them too.  As one foreign teacher said about eating here, "Chew cautiously."  The snacks are pretty cheap, which is good, because it is a total gamble as to what might be appetizing...or not.

We bought 2 of these thermoses for 29 RMB each.  They are excellent at keeping water hot all day long.  The students and other teachers all carry them around and there are many hot water dispensers in the offices.  The little box of special tea was a gift from the principal here.  In the background, of course, is the view from one of our windows.  We don't pay anything for the view:).

China is certainly a land of tea drinkers.  So when we saw a coffee shop right around the block, Barry, Ben and I went in.  We were given the English menu.  The prices were Starbucks style.  Oh well, we thought, coffee is a, here we are smiling, which is actually grimacing, over this "special" instant coffee.  Uff da.  (yes, the Norwegian expression definitely fits here)  Mark "Ming Tien Coffee Language" (no, we don't know what coffee language is either) off of our list of top 10 places to go in Xi'an.
THEN...Kevin and Stacey discovered the Dunkin Donuts, which is in the Lotus grocery store complex.  THIS is the real thing.  I'm a bit embarrassed at how happy we were to find it.  One British businessman we met in there asked me (on the 2nd day we ran into him), "Are you pretty addicted to this stuff?"  Ha.  At 14 RMB it does feel like a bit of a luxury, so we are not making it a daily habit.  By the way, we haven't yet tried the donuts.  Some of them are standard--Boston Cream Pie...and others are standard Chinese--shredded pork donut, green tea filled donut...yes, I am not making this up.


  1. We are enjoying reading your blog, Kelly! Both you and Ben are excellent writers!

    1. Thank you! We are enjoying sharing our experiences in this manner.

  2. OH you both look like you are having a wonderful will be hard to "come home" for sure. Maybe now with all the experience you "world travelers" are enjoying, I understand some the the "draw" to other places and cultures. So many thanks for sharing.