Friday, June 18, 2010

I'll ask him for a title for next time

Here's another entry Pete emailed me today (click on images to enlarge...if you dare):

6-18-2010, 9PM
Location: Hotel in Lianyungang

Against all odds, I made it out of Beijing yesterday and arrived in
the coastal port city of Lianyungang last night around 10:30. Total
time in transit, 46 hours. Needless to say I slept pretty well last

I won't bore you with the details of my factory visit, other than to
show you the sign they put up in my honor (these never fail to both
flatter and amuse me)

but I will indulge in my first story in the "Oh those crazy Chinese,
what won't they eat next!?" genre.

After our business concluded for the day, the owner of the factory
asked me if I liked sea food. How does one handle a question like
this? I suppose if I had been feeling sneaky and a little less brave,
I could have begged off on account of extreme fatigue, or other plans
but instead I heard myself saying this damning phrase: "I love

And so, off we went for the most authentic and fresh Chinese style
seafood lunch you could ever hope for. On the way it was revealed
that they had offered the same opportunity to my boss (he visited
several weeks ago) but he was not able to make it due to his travel
schedule. Uh huh. I could almost hear him belly laughing at me from
across the pacific at my lack of foresight in avoiding this situation.

So here's how it worked. We drove to the harbor, which appeared
sickly and heavily polluted. Along the road were several
houses/seafood stands, each with an array of water tanks in front
housing live seafood. We stopped at one and my host proceeded to
point to a wide variety of squirming creatures as the rest of us were
escorted upstairs. I could tell that this was a real treat for them,
and it was a pretty cool concept. Doesn't get any fresher than that,

So I did fine with the whole-body shrimp (kind of crunchy with the
legs and everything), and honestly the mussels were about the best
I've ever had. So after an odd but satisfying meal of shrimp and
mussels I was ready to move on. Unfortuantely we were on course 2 out
of 7, and things did not improve from there.

The highlight - I asked our translator, Shen, what was in the salad
that I was eating, some kind of green peppers mixed with a thinly
sliced pink meat. She looked at me with a face that indicated her
vocabulary was failing her, and said "Creatures of the Sea." Luckily
I figured it out. See those pink things? Worm salad.

Anyway, that was 6 or 7 hours ago and I don't feel any food poisoning
setting in, so hopefully I escaped unscathed, and let the record show
that I tried every darn dish that came in front of me. At any rate I
was glad to request the "western" menu at the hotel restaurant tonight
and ordered a couple of bland things to settle my stomach and my
pallet. I started with a bowl of minestrone (which I don't remember
having a sweet & sour base before), and "Quesedilla"

Bon appetit!

1 comment:

connie88s said...

Hey Pete when I taught you to try a little bit of everything on your plate I didn't intead for it to go this far! Thanks for the gastronomic adventure. It's one I will not seek to live vicariously!