February 26, 2009

Orange Crushed

As part of my ongoing study of the eating habits of modern civilizations, I visited a KFC outlet in China. I ordered a Beijing style wrap combo. For my drink, I asked for an Orange Crush. After paying for and collecting my meal, I sat down and began to eat.

With the soothing sounds of the Backstreet Boys playing in the background, I took a bite out of my Kentucky Fried Crab. As I slurped my drink, my tongue started to sizzle. I noticed the smoke first, and then the pain. The Orange Crush was actually boiling hot orange juice. Logically, orange juice is served at a high temperature during the cold winter months. My taste buds would recover in due time for further culinary adventures.

February 24, 2009


My office building has its own food court. A card has to be purchased and loaded with funds. It is possible to pay for items at all the restaurants in the food court by swiping this prepaid card as long as a balance remains. Many of the meals are accompanied by a bowl of thick soup.

I am fond of the soup but my Chinese colleagues could not tell me its English name right away. The direct translation turned out to be "millet gruel". This is what orphans in 19th century had for sustenance as they laboured in factories. Although it has a bad reputation, it has a good taste.


"Please, sir, I want some more." - Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

February 23, 2009

Bird On A Stick

My landlord referred me to an area where I could sample some street fare. I tried a piece of fried chicken on a stick as a starter, and the ordered another bird on a stick. I conveyed my wishes by pointing at my object of desire. This time I could not tell what animal I was eating, although it did seem vaguely familiar. My skewer had four of the small and tasty creatures attached to it. I walked back to my apartment while munching on them, careful to leave one specimen intact. When I arrived back to my flat, my landlord identified the remaining critter as a baby quail.

February 17, 2009

One World, One Dream

I landed in China amidst unparalleled fanfare. The good citizens of the People's Republic were anticipating my arrival with glee. I was picked up from the airport and taken to my office on my first day in the country, before being taken around Beijing to survey my accommodation options. The people of Beijing greeted me with a spectacular light show that lasted for several nights. Although the weather was chilly, the mood was festive. Fireworks exploded throughout the city as a feeling of excitement resonated through the hearts of the people.

It was the Chinese New Year, and for me it was also a new country and a new job. Some prognosticators projected an increase in the number of Indo-Chinadian births in the next 9-21 months, while other pundits predicted that my coming would further solidify China's growth story and help revitalize the sluggish global economy. Whatever the outcome, the Year of the Ox will be an interesting one for all involved.

February 16, 2009

Three Scream

Chinese guy: Have you ever tried three scream?
Me: No, what's that?
Chinese guy: Take a baby mouse. Pick it up with your chopsticks. One scream. Dip it in sauce. Two scream. Put it in your mouth. Three scream.