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Published: October 31st 2010
living the good life
200 dollars a month, less than 7 dollars a day, for food. This is how much Pacific Lutheran University supplies us with. As the RMB rises in value, this amounts to less and less. However, my friends and I have made a game out of making money off of our food stipends.
So, we treat ourselves to one expensive meal a week, usually Western food. We have done Subway, Peter's Tex Mex, Pizza Hut... None of it seems very glamorous by American standards, but it seems like a treat to have cheese, and greasy fries, burgers, cookies... that sort of thing.
The rest of the week, we spend very little. I have a meal card now, so I can eat in the dining hall. They have all kinds of food: noodles and rice, eggs, veggies, meats, and baozi. Some of it isn't very good. But some of it is delicious. The noodles that taste like American Chinese lomein, for instance. And the fried eggs for less than a yuan each.
Noodle bowls are always a good choice.
We each received a 200 yuan gift card to Anderson's bakery, which is good for breakfast items.
The ground pork
for our spaghetti sauce.
go to Chunxi Lu, sometimes we have donuts for lunch or dinner. Not the healthiest, but they have some interesting flavors. I haven't tried spicy dried pork yet, but I did enjoy the green tea cream one.
It is easy to find small restaurants with simple dishes like egg and tomato, mapo doufu, fried rice, etc. If we split three or four dishes the cost is usually between 10 and 20 yuan, and it generally comes with tea and/or white rice.
We have even managed to cook up quite a few good meals in the "kitchen," which consists of free standing gas burners and a few woks, pots, and a spatula. We've done a lot of scrambled eggs. Our tomato and egg didn't turn out so well, but we don't use MSG, so that is probably why. We made a veggie stir fry with lotus root, broccoli, and carrots, and mixed leftover noodles from the dining hall in with it. Our fried rice was really good. And so was the spaghetti with homemade sauce. Next I want to try something with tofu skin, and some of the Sichuan spices. We haven't used them all that much yet.
And the money saved funds taxis, shopping excursions, and trips to the tailor. So worth it.
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