Why would I blog about something as prosaic as poached eggs on toast? Because obtaining and assembling the ingredients for Western meals takes a bit of effort here. We found that bottle of Heinz ketchup at a newly-opened mall and it has pride of place on the table like it's the latest Beaujolais or something. The bacon is very lean but it smells and tastes like bacon. The hash browns are made with red onion instead of white onion, which is harder to find around here.
Bread is readily available here, but it is all slightly sweet, so we were glad to find bread that tasted more like Western bread and crust had the right chewiness.
There is no good cheese to go with this baguette, however. They sell something called "cheesecake" but it's more like a soft spongecake than cheesecake.
For almost the last two weeks we had the bluest skies I have ever seen in Zibo. This is because the APEC conference was being held in Beijing and the government ordered all citizens to strictly limit the use of their personal vehicles, to cut down on the pollution levels in the capital. This order even applied to Zibo, several hours away from Beijing. I surmise that the heavy smog of the last two days is the result of a lot of coal-powered plants and factories firing up again after the visitors have left.
Other than brunch, we didn't do anything especially for my birthday. I am just getting over a two-week cold and laryngitis, so I was not up for anything much. It was very nice to get birthday greetings from friends and family on the other side of the world, and also kind wishes from my students.