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”.