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Hanging with the Moens

I spent the day with Tia and Jeremy Moen today. They've become good friends since we all arrived in Hangzhou at nearly the same time. Tia is a dramatic arts teacher at HIS. I have mad respect for someone who puts on full stage productions. I'm super excited to see her production of The Addams Family this coming spring. Jeremy works as a voice actor and has an amazing singing voice. I'm lucky to have met them.

We started our day with a plan to hit a mall in Hangzhou. Tia needed to hit Victoria's Secret to purchase a specific body wash for her sensitive skin. We just sort of winged it all day thereafter. We were all feeling hungry and had an awesome meal at Haidilao. It's a hot pot restaurant chain across China. Jeremey thinks there about five of them in Hangzhou. Hot pot is a big deal here that I've heard about, but didn't experience until today.

Step one at a hot pot restaurant is to order a soup base. We went with a mushroom soup. They bring a giant pan of it that sits in the center of the table with a heating pad under it. Next you order all sorts of stuff to dump in the base to cook. Lots of thinly sliced meats and veggies. The wait staff was super helpful in helping us add the items into cook making suggestions along the way. William (the water) was super helpful. Another example of a restaurant worker taking great pride in their work without the concept of a tip necessary. Lastly you have a bar with lots of items to create a custom sauce for dipping your items in after cooking. You can see this bar in the picture above just over Jeremy's left shoulder. Sesame, ginger, peanut oil, etc. William made up a sauce for both Tia and me. Good stuff.

After lunch we meandered towards West Lake and walked by the shore. There were several small shops and food stands along the way. I was introduced to Tanghulu and Tia grabbed a cool looking tea drink that came in a cup made from bamboo. Tanghulu are starberries dipped in a sugar coating that's solidified. Sugary sweet awesomeness. Also of note, this coming year is the year of the rabbit. Lots of bunny stuff everywhere.

After the Lake we walked through the night market and then back by the lake again. Grabbed several nice pictures of the sun coming down over the lake.

We finished the day by stopping by Sam's Club to grab some groceries. After we got back to our apartments I wanted to grab a quick video of the building next to our school and apartments. Many buildings in Hangzhou are decorated with lights similar to this. It's worth watching this with the volume on and make sure you get at least twenty second into the video.

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Great timing for sure! mannnn I want some of those strawberrie!


Jan 21, 2023

Such a great day! Great food, great culture, great company! Perfect!


Paige Shumway
Paige Shumway
Jan 20, 2023

Badass indeed! What a beautiful day! So happy you have so many wonderful experiences, Dave.

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