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And once again, it looked like I dropped everything and dashed off on a whirlwind of activities.

To be honest though, I have no excuse to offer for the past 2 weeks of inactivity, but I do have an excuse for the inactivity before that. And the excuse is that -drumroll- I graduated! I am officially a University of Michigan alumni after 3 years of snow and occasionally some sunshine.

The ceremony was wild because President Obama, yes, that’s right, THE President of the US of A was the Commencement speaker. Regardless of mine, his, and your political views, it was a pretty darn exciting. I was only five rows of chairs away from him and my friend joked about how he could probably spit and sweat on us with a good wind.

And, speaking of wind, the weather that morning was terrible. My parents and friends had fought their way into the Michigan Football Stadium at around 6 in the morning and I had also been at the field at around 6 in the morning–all to get close-up seats. I think everyone thought it was worth it though. After all, how often do you get to see a sitting president up close?

After the graduation ceremony, my parents and I flew to NYC to visit my grandmother. And I think we can all agree that NYC=good food. I hadn’t had such good Chinese food for so long…so this post will be me going on and on about xiao long bao, or the Shanghai-nese soup bun at Joe’s Shanghai, a restaurant in Flushing, and some other random good food that my aunt took us to.

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I can’t believe I forgot to post these!

These little crabs (the body of the crab is about the size of a penny) were from Pacific Mall in Toronto. My cousin got these for me as a snack since I told her that Ann Arbor was, in many ways, like a “village”.

It’s just a cute little snack that are incredibly…exotic, for lack of a better term.
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This past week (01.17-01.22) was “Restaurant Week” where we are. Basically, a lot of the restaurants downtown (which are normally priced higher than a student’s budget) offer meals for a little cheaper than normal.

A lot of places offer lunch for $12, and some places had a “2 for 1” deal.  My friends and I went to “Blue Nile“, an Ethiopian restaurant that had the “2 for 1” deal. It was a competition between Seva’s, a vegetarian/vegan place, and Blue Nile, and honestly, I’m glad Blue Nile won out.

The staff were very friendly. Being the camera foodie that I am, I asked if we could move to a seat by the window so I could get better shots of the food. The host immediately said, “Sure, sure! That’s no problem at all!”

On the 2-for-1 $12 menu, there were four items. My roommates, friend, and I ended up getting two different dishes, the ZilZil Wat and Yedoro Tibs, with different vegetable sides as well as a cup of spiced Ethiopian tea. Our tea arrived first.

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I spent my Xmas day in Chicago, and wow, it was a little creepy since the downtown area so almost entirely empty.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get a taste of Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza, but my friend and I went to a fairly famous restaurant called Joy Yee’s in Chinatown.

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I’m currently in Chicago!! And, true to my foodie heart, I got excited with the food places that are available in the Windy City (which isn’t actually that windy…). I will be here until the morning of the 26th, and today was day 1!

Today, we visited Mitsuwa’s, a fairly large Japanese supermarket. It’s big enough to have its own food court and it actually reminded me of when I was in the Kyoto needle (across from Kyoto station) when we went downstairs and there were various types of vendors. At Mitsuwa’s there was a pottery place, a book place (perfect for getting my hands on those magazines that are otherwise sooo expensive!), and a sake place (but I’m underage…)

Santouka, apparently, is a very popular ramen shop within Mitsuwa. A friend from my club recommended it, and, wow, was I happy to be there!

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It feels like a lot of people are trying to scrape by until Thanksgiving break here in the States, and I’m one of them. Motivation just isn’t the “in” thing right now.

Sometimes I try to have tea to wake myself up/get a boost of energy, and recently, my friend Angel gave me a tea strainer that’s perfect for an individual person and gives me something fun to look at while I’m working.


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