Friday, December 17, 2010

Dogs, Chickens, and Pigs: The Three Food Groups of China

(Tap tap tap)

Is this thing on? Helloooo, anyone out there?

Okay, finished with not-so-subtle-hint-to-comment.

Nothing much has been happening here, except our festive preparation for Christmas and a winter trip to Siberia. What does one wear to Siberia, anyway? I'm not sure we'll survive the -40 degree C temperature.

Here's some random pictures from the last month or so, most of them food, of course.

Andrew finally tried the shrimp burger at KFC, which included whole shrimp mashed together and formed into a patty. Yum.

We finally ventured into the category of Animals-That-Should-Never-Be-Eaten and tried dog. Hey, when in Rome....It wasn't great. It was served cold, and the less fatty pieces tasted a little like leftover Thanksgiving turkey (the dark meat, in case you're wondering), but the image of poor little Mopdog (who was not harmed in the making of this meal) was enough to deter me from a third bite.

We were going to buy some chicken's feet and pig snouts, but we figured we were done eating weird things, so we just took pictures of them in the supermarket. Sorry if you're disappointed. We're not. They sell these things in travel-size, perfect for any long distance bus or train ride! I considered sending some back home as stocking stuffers, but decided the garlic and chili flavored dried peas were treat enough for them (you're welcome, Mom).

In addition to eating our way through China, we've been spending a lot of time with the other foreign teachers, and of course, watching DVDs. It costs about $1.50 for good quality DVDs, so we've been working our way through the entire series of "Lost."

Christmas here is more of a tourist attraction than anything else. The big department stores have trees and decorations out, and all the locals giggle and pose for photos while rocking the peace sign. It's interesting to watch. We got a tree! It's fake, and the decorations are shoddy Chinese ones (just like home, right?) but it's green and pointy and has space at the bottom for presents (so far just one from my mom; thanks Mommy!), so I'm pretty pleased. We're not totally sure of our Christmas plans, but hope to spend at least part of it with the other teachers. Our bosses were really disappointed that we wouldn't let them take us out to dinner, but really, Chinese food on Christmas?!?

It snowed the other day, bringing the temperature down to a less-than-comfortable level. Should it really be 52 degrees F in my bathroom? 67 in my living room? Government controlled heating bites.

Another random tidbit about Chinese culture: When two cars get in an accident, however minor, the policy appears to be to wait in your car, no matter where you are, until a police officer magically appears to determine who's at fault. Does it matter that you're in the middle of a busy intersection? No! Does it matter that it takes almost 30 minutes for the police to arrive? No! You aren't even allowed to get out of the car and make sure no one is hurt.

No post would be complete without some great Chinglish signage. Enjoy:


  1. Yuck, dog. I admire your bravery. I don't think I'd survive living in China. The lack of vegetarian food would kill me.

    Siberia, eh? Yeah, good luck not freezing. Can't wait to hear about that though, it sounds like a cool place. I think you guys should try to go to Tibet at some point so you can tell me about it ;).

    I'm surprised Christmas is a thing there. Isn't that sort of illegal? I guess Consumerist Christmases are ok.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. I actually got chills when looking at the shrimp burger. Christmas is also mainly a tourist attraction in NYC, whaddya know?

    Hope you two are doing well. :)