During my last few days in Tieling, I spent some time with the people who helped me survive my tough life as a classroom teacher. One of them is my soft-spoken friend and super reliable assistant, Miss Emma.
I feel a bit guilty sometimes because even if we are on a holiday or having a day off, I still ask help from her. When I ran out of Chinese words and I'm out somewhere, I wouldn't hesitate to call her and ask her to translate for me! Well, we're more than just colleagues. Even though she's younger than I am, we became friends and we'd shop and eat together whenever we have time. She's a very smart and hard-working person; I enjoyed having conversations with her. We still talk on WeChat until now. Last time I've heard from her, she said she'll be moving to Shanghai to find a new employment.
So, six days before I left China last year, we had our last meal together at Karen Coffee. It's kinda hard to find American or Italian restaurants in that tiny city, but there are! I usually come here with my Filipino friends when we get sick of Chinese food. Ordering is fun because it always ends up in charade, haha! We are known there as the crazy, noisy foreigners. But we always commend anyone who speaks good English and won't let us twist our tongue trying to speak Chinese when we order food.
Since I was here with Miss Emma, ordering wasn't an ordeal. When we were planning our 'last meal' together, she kept asking what I wanted to have. I told her I just really want a waffle or pancake. But instead of my daily ritual of drinking coffee, we ordered fruit tea instead. Living in China taught me how to drink tea instead of water with meals. I love coffee but out of respect for my Chinese friends, I would switch to tea temporarily.
What I love about this place is that there are booths/seats with walls and doors (though the top part is open) so you can really have a nice photo session inside, haha! Other people can hear you talking somehow but at least they won't be staring so bad at you. Also, the couches are SO comfortable man! after having a meal, I would normally just curl up on my spot and no one can give a damn! I can take my shoes off and sit inappropriately. I guess what I'm saying is that it's so homey.
Eating out is incomplete without selfies, so, here are photos of us before we left the place. Pardon our chapped lips, it was Winter!