April is a month of recovery for Wuhan. The lockdown has ended and people are now more or less allowed to move freely in and out of the city (as long as you meet the health requirements). Residential complexes are still under restricted movement control and there was still quite a bit of inconvenience for me as a foreigner, whether it was to take public transit or go into any sort of public area. It might stay like this for a while, and I’m definitely not looking forward to having to physically go back to work at the office in May (I have been working from home all of April). Having to wear a face mask for 8 hours straight AND not being sure if AC could be turned on as summer approaches…you could tell I’m not thrilled!
The temperature rose very quickly in April and by the end of the month we were up to 30 degrees Celsius! Seems like we might enter summer early this year…but not before rainy season hits in May! Before the rain came, J and I took the chance to get out of our residential area and enjoy the nature, generously taking advantage of the final relatively “free” time at the end of spring.
I recently downloaded a Chinese app that is able to identify plants in a photo, so I’ve been trying it out whenever I see flowers when I go outdoors. To my surprise this was…echinacea?!! I even did a project on echinacea in grade 11 but never knew what it looked like, ha! The little flowers in the previous photo are called cosmos.
The flowers in the top photo are Chinese roses, called “yue ji” in Mandarin, which literally translates to “moon season”. The tiny ones in the bottom photo are called spirea, pretty little things! In the summer, I will be looking forward to the lotus and sunflowers!
Breakfast for two – corn, eggs, and buns, simple yet satisfying. After the noodle shop by our place opened up again, we’ve been getting hot dry noodles from time to time, but it gets heavy if we each get one portion, especially because staying at home causes an extreme lack of movement! We’ve cut down the intake to one portion to share between the two of us (maybe twice a week), which is much more reasonable.
Tranquility within a large hustling city doesn’t come easy. Even though Wuhan was “paused” for more than two months, it is now back in action. On a day out post-lockdown, J and I chanced upon this small, tranquil lake in the midst of the city that gives off an air of peace and serenity.
Ohai there, says my shadow to J’s during our daily afternoon walk. We’ve developed a habit of two daily walks within our residential complex, one at around 3 pm and the other after dinner at around 7 pm. These days are able to end as my working-from-home days end next week and I head back to the office with much reluctance. And J will have to head back to the university soon, but he can’t wait for that!
Food? Yes! Spending a lot of time at home meant that we cooked a lot. This means that we use up rice, oil, and gas credit at greater than double the normal rate! But the end result is a whole bunch of culinary delight, mostly by chef J.
In fact, food photos made up most of my album in April and I almost thought that the April 2020 would be exclusively a showcase of my meals. Thankfully it is not, not that there’d be a problem if that were the case 😛
Of the different dishes that we experimented with, I was most satisfied with and surprised by how delicious the fried chicken wings turned out. No KFC, no problem, make your own! The secret lies in the batter composition, but controlling the oil temperature was perhaps the key to success, as we realized through three trials. We’ve started deep-frying other things such as fish and squid, and more is on my list of foods to try frying. By the way, this looks like a lot of food for each meal (and it is) but we usually cook for two or even three meals at once, heh.
May 1 was Labour Day and I’m currently in the midst of a 5-day national holiday. I had originally planned to go to my hometown Guangzhou during this rare occasion but obviously COVID-19 disrupted all travel plans. No long-distance travel any time soon (though I do hope to go to Canada for two weeks in October) so I might as well embrace my final days of freedom before I head back to the office in three days…with a desk fan to combat the already invading heat!