Thursday, April 28, 2011

Monday, April 25th. Beijing.

These posts are backdated as we were not able to log onto blogspot while in Beijing. The Great Firewall of China is apparently not a fan of blogging!


I’ll have two different kinds of tripe with that please

So our day yesterday got off to an adventurous start. Making our way down the main (somewhat touristy) Wangfujing Street we ventured off a busy but less touristy side street heading for the East entrance to the Forbidden City. We wandered for quite a while and given that we had a fairly light meal the evening before, we were definitely distracted / disoriented by our noses.

We passed by a few places that seemed clean, well kept, well established, with tourists sitting at tables on display in the window (a clever and deliberate placement I’m sure) but as we realized that we were getting closer and closer to the Forbidden City where we assumed the food would be very touristy and very overpriced, we decided to dart in the first place we could find that we felt capable of communicating with the proprietor.

In this case “communicating with the proprietor” amounted to pointing to pictures that were large and clearly laid out on the wall as the owners could not speak any English and we could not speak any practical mandarin for ordering food “off menu”. I decided to point to a large picture of what appeared to me to be rice vermicelli with pork and bok choy in a soup like broth. Amanda then pointed to the same.

In retrospect, I now understand the moment of hesitation on the owners face as he was probably thinking “do these Westerners really know what they’re ordering?”. Well we didn’t.

The large bowls we were presented did look to be the same as the picture, I am sure of that, but a more accurate description of the meal would be rice vermicelli noodles with bok choy and with slices of beef and two different kinds of tripe in spicy broth.

Honestly, I’m not even sure it was two types of tripe. There was definitely tripe and then there was something that was black/brown, and looked a bit like the tripe. I’ve no doubt that it was some kind of animal product.

 That aside, wanting not to offend, I ate down to the bottom of the bowl, leaving little behind. My verdict, tripe is not too bad, but never in my life will a day go by where I think to myself, mmmmm, I could really go for some tripe right about now.

Paying for the meal was a little awkward but it did provide me with an opportunity to practice some Lonely Planet handbook Mandarin - I’m sure the laughter was saved for after we left the restaurant! I ordered a coke for Amanda and me to share and our bill came to 41RMB, which is about $6CAD.

To The Forbidden City!

Getting from the restaurant was easy enough, apart from the terror of crossing through pedestrian intersections on roadways.

Pedestrian Safety Tip:
In Canada, Pedestrians will walk through an intersection without necessarily looking for traffic, even if they do see a car coming they will walk through the intersection expecting that traffic will stop for them.
In Beijing, Drivers will drive through intersections without necessarily looking for pedestrians, even if they do see pedestrians they will drive through the intersection expecting that pedestrians will get out of the way for them.

Canadian drivers with Beijing pedestrians would make for a pretty accident free combination. I can’t say the same would be the case with Beijing drivers and Canadian pedestrians!!!!

As far as the rest of our day goes I will defer to Amanda to provide the details…

No comments:

Post a Comment