Monday, January 25, 2010
Culture Shock Attack Jack as Jack Attack Food
Being in a foreign country has been hard recently. I thought I knew what I was getting into, but it's been harder than I imagined being here, not knowing the language and watching the Vikings lose in sudden death overtime! I had a great talk with one of Todd's fellow teachers about food and about how understanding a foreign country's culture has a lot to do with understanding their food. It made me sad to think what conclusions foreigners would come to about Americans, but it also has been challenging in trying to figure out how people here live.
I've been trying loads of street food and crazy stuff. The weirdest-looking so far was some kind of bbq squid thing on a stick. My favorite was going to a little shop where you pick the fresh ingredients and they cook them in a basin of hot water and make a soup out of it for you. I added two things that were totally foreign to me (and somewhat scary), but we knew they weren't meat. It ended up being delicious, and since then I've found out that it was tree/wood mushrooms (elephant ears - because they look like it) and some kind of root whose slices look like wheels! My stomach is strong, and I've really been enjoying the food in China. It's lots of greens and mushrooms in noodle dishes, rice dishes and soups. Lots of tofu and quite a few egg tarts in Hong Kong. Dim sum has been a great breakfast, along with eggs that have been hard-boiled in tea (or some kind of herbed water). It tastes almost exactly the same with a little hint of herbs, but the color of the egg is brown!
I have a lot more to say about China, but my internet time is expiring. Plus, I can't access my blog from China (because of censorship rules), so it feels fitting that I don't blog about it until I leave (since the Chinese can't blog about their experiences while they're there). Solidarity!
ps I'm in Hong Kong right now, at an internet kiosk below my 11th-floor hostel. Hong Kong is high and dense with people.