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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

Orient-ation - Foodies Part I

Posted Saturday, April 12, 2008, at 5:42 AM

I want you...I need you. No..just..forget the movie... I heard it was another terrible movie monopolizing on my childhood anyhow.
I updated my blog a week or two ago but through a fault of my own I deleted it. Much angst was directed towards blogging in general. I pouted and stamped my feet for a while; ultimately directing hatred towards the blog-o-shere Gods. Unfortunately my celestial benefactors here only listen to hatin' in Chinese. Sigh. So much for being gangsta.

Part of the reason why I don't write very often is simply because I don't feel that anyone is actually reading. My own personal consensus is that I just sort of type to myself and glaze over while I read my beautiful, lucid words over and over again. However, a friend mentioned that his brother liked reading the blog so I thought I'd put some more material out just for him. What up, Carson family!

I don't think my blog deserves to be named the name it has currently, so I'm changing the name to Orient-ation. Get it? I'm in the Orient and I'm telling what it's like?? Haha.. oh that's rich.

A lot of people ask me about the "cuisine" here and how I'm adjusting. Don't be cute, just ask how the food is. Everyone wonders if I'm wasting away living on rat tails and baby mice.

Yes, you can eat some messed up things here. Go to a local restaurant and order cow brains if you like, or bring in your own frog to throw in a hot pot. While these items are not the norm by any means, they're not unheard of -- Just a little off.

The other day I was eating supper with one of my students'(I teach at a college) families and I ate what they told me was pork. I like pork, so I was down with it. It tasted a bit off but it wasn't bad by any means. Come to find out I was eating Babe's heart. Like I was an extra in Dances With Wolves or something. I imagine that I'll start consuming souls and the only one left will be Charlotte's fleshlings.

However, truthfully you simply eat a lot of normal things. It's just in different quantities. These consist of rice (you better love it), noodles(somewhat of a staple here), meats, tofu (Oh YES I said it!) and a ton of vegetables. Basically if you like Chinese food at a restaurant in America you'll be able to adjust, but don't for a second think that they're the same. There's a lot of extra fried food and meat added to American Chinese Cuisine and a crazy absence of things like fish heads or porridge. They had to change it to fit our diets because when we think of tofu or fish heads: We think of death.

Oh and when I say "meats." Don't expect a steak. You'll eat little bits of meat that they hide underneath other vegetables. And you'll like it. Finding a piece of meat bigger than your toenail is like finding candy in an Easter Egg. You, sir, are a luckster.

Speaking of fried foods: I've had egg rolls here and they're pretty delicious but I have to say that they don't compare to that tiny Chinese food restaurant in Kearney, Nebraska next to Central Avenue. Best dang thing I ever tasted. America 1 - China 0. I've also yet to find a crab rangoon but I doubt I ever will.

The real loop that most people go through is that you don't really have your own plate of food. 99% of the time, dishes are shared. The way Chinese meals are done: There's a huge bowl of rice in the middle for passing and grabbing similar to mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving but usually the dishes are put in the middle, and instead of passing them around, you grab at pieces of them with your chopsticks or spoons.

Even though I've been in China for 6 months and learned how to use chopsticks in America - Chinese people continuously marvel that I can use their forbidden art. I can't carry eating utensils in my back pocket jack! That's not how I roll.

Look for Part II Tomorrow.

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Not the strangest thing I've ever *tasted* because I refuse to but I saw a dog displayed on the burners before. More on that later.

I'm pretty in love with Milk Tea which is kind of a traditional, delicious beverage and authentic Chinese dishes in general are pretty delicious and i'm sure it will be hard to find a restaurant in America, even a Chinese one, who will know how to make the dishes like that.

And they have special types of bread that I've never had before in the states also, like Milk Tea Coconut Bread and stuff like that.

And lastly, the traditional candy. Tasty stuff.

-- Posted by natejames on Tue, Apr 15, 2008, at 10:56 AM

just out of curiosity nate what IS the strangest thing u have had over there? and what is your favorite food that u have had over there that u could not get over here?

-- Posted by billybobi on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 3:49 PM

Much appreciated. I will. Thank you!

-- Posted by natejames on Sun, Apr 13, 2008, at 5:40 AM

Keep writing. You are writing history, from your view of life. Save the articles, and better enjoy your words years from now.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Sat, Apr 12, 2008, at 3:05 PM

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Nate James
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