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1st picture was my first dinner here in China. The guy who picked me up at the airport got me settled in at the hotel, then left. Great. I was starving and had no way to communicate. So I went back to the school and asked if he could help me out. He took me to this giant place in the basement of a mall that has tons of Chinese food. You load up money on a card, then when you want something, you just tap the card against the machine and it deducts the costs and they serve you your food. Besides the sweet/sour chicken with rice, I had no idea what the other 3 bowls were. 

Sometimes I know what I’m getting, and other times, I don’t. For example, the yellow stuff in the bottom picture came with what I ordered and it was like a gelatinous tapioca pudding without any flavor. After struggling with chopsticks and rice, I asked my buddy what the Chinese word for ‘fork’ was and he said, “They’ll just give you chopsticks anyway”. 

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Degen Hill

About: Degen Hill is a travel junkie, gym enthusiast, and avid writer who currently resides in Beijing. He is a 28-year-old graduate of Eastern Washington University where he studied Spanish & Communications and quickly learned that life's too short to not travel. Degen is aggressively realistic, open-minded, sarcastic, curious, and results-driven.

Currently: Degen graduated from Tsinghua University with a Master's of Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy in Beijing. He is now a reporter and editor for the political magazine China Today (今日中国). His Chinese language ability is a work in progress and enjoys the challenge. He is currently living in Andingmen (Right above the Forbidden City).