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THE OLYMPIC TORCH IS LIT!!!!

August 9, 2008

Last night we went had a family-friend gathering to watch the opening ceremony for the Olympics (we’re actually going to see the track and field finals!!!!). Our family friends are Italian-Chinese (Chinese artist married an Italian woman and had two awesome Italian-Chinese girls), and it just so happened that it was their daughter Bea’s 14th birthday!
So we all got together, happily awaiting not only a ridiculous and over-the-top performance (“One World, One Dream!”), but also a break from Chinese food! Patrizia, the Italian woman, comes from a family in Bologna with a house in the mountains. We visited them once there and they were always making fresh tortellini and fruit jams. Patrizia is going to teach me to make fresh pasta and other delicious necessities.
Anyways, we had a very international night– before dinner, we all sat in front of the TV (Actually, we sat there throughout dinner too) munching on sushi, Chinese-style salted peanuts, the cheese we brought to share that I’d bought in Paris (a chevre and a compte), Patrizia’s dad’s Amarene jam, duck necks (?), and grapes. Actually, I skipped all these little munchies in anticipation of dinner, which was seafood penne.
We decided it was better to eat dinner while watching than to sit at the table and crane our necks, so we did. The pasta was simple and delicious– it was a simple sauce of garlic, cherry tomatoes, onions, bay scallops, octopus, and squid (apparently there would have been shrimp but the girls don’t like them).
Afterwards we had salad (I still feel weird eating salad after the main course but I suppose it’s very chic and European), and it was the first salad I’ve had since getting here! For some reason the olive oil had such a rich, golden taste, much more so than usual. Maybe because I haven’t had it in so long?
To celebrate Bea’s birthday, we had champagne and a very Asian-style birthday cake that I actually allowed myself to enjoy! I’ve been having hardcore (90 minute) swimming coaching sessions every day and I figured I could reward myself for a week’s hard work. The cake was a sponge cake with cream filling and flaked almonds, topped with kiwi, dragonfruit, melon, and raspberries. Very light and delicious, although I was surprised I liked it… usually I’m not such a cake person.
As for the Olympics, the ceremony was crazy! But I’m sure you watched it… I had a great time watching all the countries march up, since I had a geography test freshman year that required us to memorize the capital of every single country in the world, as well as all the rivers, mountains, etc. (Evil….) The best part of the ceremony was when they lifted up the runner with the torch above the stadium and he pretended to run in the air, then put his torch up to the real one and the flame erupted towards the sky.
Afterwards it was impossible to find a taxi! It felt like New Years’ or something! We didn’t get home until after 1:00 AM!
p.s. Patrizia brought me back some wonderful goodies from Italy: spinach pasta, tiny little chickpeas, a jar of pesto, and sugar-coated almonds.
Bea got me Buffy seasons 1-7!!!!!!!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. leucippe permalink
    August 11, 2008 9:59 pm

    We watched the opening too, although 12 hours later!! and we too saw it with friends (who don’t have cable, because the husband is afraid he will be too tempted to watch things), but not your fancy meal (take out roast chicken, the old standby). I think the opening ceremonies were just magical!! and of course, I’ve always loved fireworks, which the Chinese invented anyhow. the whole thing was an extravaganza of technical wizardry and brilliant imagination.
    and guess what, NO DRAGONS.

  2. leucippe permalink
    August 14, 2008 8:19 pm

    I loved watching the opening ceremonies on a huge TV. We also weren’t alone: we invited a colleague and husband to have dinner chez nous (take out roast chicken — yeah yeah) and gazpacho; ice cream for dessert with a tart that our guests brought. They don’t have cable TV because the husband doesn’t trust himself not to become a junkie for entertainment. what self-control. almost as good as yours, Lida, when it comes to resisting temptation.
    anyway, I loved all the technological wizadry and artistic imaginativeness: I’ve loved Zhang Yimou’s films (is that how it’s spelled), so I knew it would be great.

  3. Catriona permalink
    August 25, 2008 5:50 pm

    hahahah Sacla pesto.. they have that here. and the ads are really hilarious i think youd think so as well.. And I had sugared almonds like that at a wedding once they are really nice (in moderation of course)

  4. Lida permalink
    August 29, 2008 12:47 am

    impressive– you could tell what kind of pesto it was in that tiny little shot?

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