Bon Appétit

A business idea for China….hire me to help you make food sound more appetizing to Westerners. Just because you don’t mind “Italian Red Meat” flavored potato chips, doesn’t mean I find them appetizing.

While fighting my way through the grocery, which is an experience in itself, I decided to write down a few of the most interesting English interpretations.

– Curry glutinous rice dumpling (with the first ingredient being lard)
– Aged & soy (sauce) marinated eggs. These can be found in a regular aisle (no refrigeration). The older the better.
– Crab spawn cake
– Meat floss egg roll
– Black bean & walnut tea
– Chicken balls
– Chicken feet

I know, your mouth is watering, right?

In addition to changing the English names on some of their packaging, they also need to beautify their displays. For example, I don’t want to buy chicken out of a bin that people rifle through with their bare hands. May I remind them of the toilet situation and that there is almost never any soap in public restrooms.

I get a lot of questions from people asking me what I eat and whether I’m adhering to Dr. Ramm’s advice (refer back to “Travel Alert Yellow, as in Yellow Fever”). Fortunately, the food here is really good. And now that my profession is domestic engineer, I cook on weekday nights, everything from spaghetti to baked chicken to Dim Sum. Okay, I know I wouldn’t make that at home, but it’s really good. As for listening to Dr. Ramm….not really. I eat cold food (including salads), drink off brand water, fruit with a skin and even milk. I am careful about where we eat and I don’t think I’ll ever be brave enough to buy food from a street vendor. Fabien and I have both been lucky and haven’t encountered any sort of serious stomach issues since we’ve arrived.

And if I get a little food homesick, the American chains are plentiful. There’s a McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway, Papa Johns, etc. about every block of which all deliver (on bikes) to your door step. Since I’ve been here we really don’t go the the American chains, but that would change if a Taco Bell opened, which I miss dearly.

Guangzhou is the heart of Cantonese culture and a big part of that means tasty food. On the weekends we go out with friends and eat mass quantities of sushi, Thai, Japanese. It’s all amazing and, again, cheap.

Dollar DVD of the Day: It’s been a while, so I’m going to give you two unlikely suspects…

2012: The plot was a little cheesy, it was overly dramatic and unlikely, but SO entertaining. Normally, I’m not a fan of these types of movies, but when you love someone you occasionally have to take one for the team and watch something they pick. :) So, besides the negatives, the special effects and suspense were really good. I’m not recommending you go and rent this right away, but if it happens to be on HBO, it’s an enjoyable way to spend a few (yes, a few) hours.

District 9: I took another one for the team on this one and really liked it. The main character accidentally becomes part alien and the movie chronicles his journey to fix his little problem. Mean while he befriends the aliens and exchanges warfare with the government agency trying to catch him, all so he can get fixed and back to his wife. So, ladies, it’s a bit of a love story, but don’t expect a happy ending. Again, this falls under the category of “watch it if it’s on TV”, but it was a solid movie.

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