Posts from the ‘China’ category

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year 2


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When I visited Shanghai last March, I decided I would also visit the nearby city Suzhou for a day. With its characteristic canals and its stunning surroundings, Suzhou is known as “the Venice of Asia”, but one should realize that this city is growing very fast and there are already 10 million people living there. So it’s by no means a small town and it’s mostly the old part of town where you can find the romantic scenery.

Because that day was a national holiday – aka the worst time to travel to these kinds of places – we decided to skip the tourist spots, like the beautiful pagodas and gardens, but just take a walk next to one of the canals. Even though the weather sucked, it was still very clear that Suzhou is a beautiful and special city.


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Even though I’m not really cooking here, I still love strolling over the Beijing markets and discovering new products. In this part of the photo series you can see the colorful summer fruits (pics were taking in October 2012 when it was still pretty warm), vegetables, pickled foods and nuts. Not only the products available are different from back home, also the way they stall them is radically different from what I was used to. That will be even be more clear in next post, in which I will show pictures of the meat department..


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This must have been the longest period that I haven’t posted anything here on Martetatin. The past couple of weeks have been one big emotional roller coaster ride, so much has happened since I talked about polenta pizza and bacon wrapped dates, I just didn’t have the energy to take a moment and write.

When I last posted I was still in the Netherlands, since then I have packed all of my belongings in boxes, sold most of my furniture, ended my apartment contract, moved all of my stuff to my parents attic (thanks for the help!), said goodbye to friends and family and used my one-way ticket to get on a plane to Beijing. And back in China I’ve been trying to get my life in order again.

This year will be my last year as a (fulltime) student, before I will enter the world of the grown ups. So I’d better make full use of the next couple of months and figure out what it is exactly that I want to do when I grow up. But for now I’ll just eat a piece of my home made cheesecake (more on that later) in my new favorite coffee shop/restaurant and write a new post. It’s good to be back.

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Here’s my new video in which I’m making Eton Mess.

Recipe will be posted in English later this week (without a video though).

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Here’s my first recipe video.. in Chinese.

I’m aware most of you don’t speak, read or write this language, but I just couldn’t not share it with you.

I’ll also be posting this chocolate mousse video on youku and weibo (Chinese versions of youtube and twitter) and the recipe will be posted in English (without a video though) later this week.

Please take a look and enjoy my Dutch-accented Chinese.



I’ve been back in the Netherlands since two weeks already.

It’s nice being back again, but it’s not really how I expected it to be.


Without noticing, I told my mother the day after coming back I had trouble getting used to Dutch food (sandwiches for breakfast and lunch) again, cause I never eat bread back home. Back home? So apparently Beijing is home now.

When I’m buying food and wondering if something is expensive or not I convert euros to Chinese yuan. So I’m converting my own currency to a foreign one cause I’ve lost my sense of value of euros.

I have big troubles getting used to using a knife and a fork again, or more using both my hands to hold utensils to eat. So I prefer using chopsticks over knife and fork.

This is the first time coming back from living in a big Asian city for a couple of months or more and really realizing that everything in the Netherlands looks ilke one tiny, little village. This is something I found picturesque and made me feel at home before, but now it makes me feel so ill at ease and out of place.


I wonder how long it will take me to readjust this time. I also wonder when I go back to China in a couple of months if I’ll write another whining post on how I don’t feel at ease in Beijing anymore and prefer my Dutch home. Something about grass always being greener on the other side..

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Next Friday I’ll be home again. My plane will land around dinner time after a 13 hour flight, so I bet I’ll be hungry and ready to eat an embarrassing amount of food. People have asked me what I would like to have for my first meal back on Dutch ground, but, to my own surprise, I don’t really care. Some dumplings or noodles would be fine with me. I do know that after I wake up the next morning, I’ll go to the farmers market that is just around the corner of my house and I’ll buy a crusty sourdough loaf and some smoked eel and I’ll enjoy the heck out of this sandwich.

To some people smoked eel sounds disgusting, but to me this Dutch delicacy is one of the best foods in the world. It’s meaty, fatty and full of flavor. You don’t even need butter or anything other than a couple of pieces of this yummy fish on some nice bread. The only thing bad about it is that it’s ridiculously expensive, but I guess that I can treat myself on my first day back home.

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