loquats! so that’s what they are!

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I never knew what a loquat was until two weeks ago. Shocking, isn’t it? I think I might’ve heard of loquats before, but … that’s about it. When I took a daytrip to Suzhou a few weeks back with friends (because Suzhou’s only a half-hour train trip from Shanghai), I kept hearing references to 枇杷 (pípa). Er … what’s that? Oh, it’s a loquat. Er … what’s that? My friend’s father was driving us around Suzhou, so he pulled over to the side of the road and bought some. And then it was the group of us standing awkwardly on the side of the road holding these round yellowish-orange things like complete idiots. Uh, sir? How do you eat these?

So now I know what a loquat is. I know what a loquat is in Chinese. I know how to eat a loquat (the skin peels easily, then you eat the fleshy part around the large seeds in the center). And you know what else? I know that loquats grow on trees. Because we went up a hill and picked loquats. Neat.