Happiness is a $1 Caomian Stand

Before coming to Shanghai, a friend boasted about all of the food vendors and street food through the back gate of ECNU. A year has passed since she’s been back to Shanghai, and the gate has since been blocked so the only way to get there is around the entire campus through the side gate.

I visited the back gate with high hopes on the first day of classes, but was sadly let down by the stranded storefronts and mediocre food choices. Later that week in the midst of my morning dazed bus ride to campus, I spotted a line of street food vendors across the ECNU front gate.

Shouzhoubing (thousand layer pancake), zhou (rice porridge), beef rolls, and a fruit stand all aligned beside one another like an army of consumable reincarnations. Perhaps the vendors relocated to the front once they were kicked out of the back alley; but regardless of their relocation, I shared the same feelings of exuberance as the woman stir frying noodles for me.

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A variety of carbs in all shapes and sizes–thick, thin, cellophane, ricecakes, and rice. Corriander, sugar, pickled cabbage and chilis, dried chili flakes, salt and chives.

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A dash of oil, crack of an egg, noodles, spices, and seasonings all tossed into a sizzling wok.

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Shanghai ricecakes stir-fried with bean sprouts, chives, scrambled eggs, sausage, and spices.

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