So, in addition to discovering our window-view of the ocean, Jessica and I also found that there is a great little night market around the corner from our place. It's a bit tucked away, but it has a bevy of food stands. I had already gotten my deliciously unhealthy jianbing (thank you, Hannah, for telling us what they're called...tell Steve Baron to come visit!) so I wandered with J. until she found something that appealed to her. There were fried vegetables, rice dishes, weird mystery meat items. She ended up picking out a couple skewers of chicken, which a woman grilled for her. There are appeared to be some duck heads available for grilling too. We're still not totally sure.
Once you've picked out something tasty, you can wander the cool, summer night with your food, or you can sit in a tiny makeshift eating area (see photo). We opted to walk a bit, then had some beer back at our place. Beer goes very well with spicy food, and they have plenty of both in Dalian.
Since I'm on the food topic, I'll mention what I ate this morning - which was thankfully less greasy than the other street food I've been sampling. I woke up at seven, ate a banana, took a walk, read a little of "China Wakes" (a terrific book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn). Then I was hungry again. So I stopped by a little place selling steamed dumplings (baozi) and asked for five dumplings. However, she thought I was asking for 5 kuai worth of dumplings, which came to roughly a million dumplings. I have no idea what was in them, but they were so delicious. I ate a bunch and put the rest in the fridge.
My morning got even better when I had my a Skype session with my sister and then my parents. I've only used Skype once before, so I acted like an elderly woman trying to use a cell phone, i.e. I spoke REALLY LOUDLY THE ENTIRE TIME. I think my roommate may have been laughing at me. This is a friendly reminder to all of you to get Skype so I can shout at you through the computer.
Right now I'm in my lovely, breezy living room with Jessica and Tae, who are lesson planning for their class on Western Culture. Their students all have English names, and while a few have pretty funny ones (Sonic, Fox, Hercules, Candy), the two best ones I have heard so far are: Skywalker and Wall-E. Wall-E went so far as to ask Jessica if he knew of any women named Eva around for him to date. Whattttttt.