Feb 26, 2010


I have eaten the same meal for 5 out of the 6 days I have been home. Feng Xie Chou Dan Mien. (translated = tomato fried egg noodles). It is a beautiful mixture of scrambled eggs and fresh tomatoes poured over a helping of hand cut noodles. It is considered "fast food" here in Chin.a and is served in small shops with green signs of Mecca by the local muslim population. It costs about the US equivalent of $1.10 and considering there is the US equivalent of $13.00 in my chine.se bank account right now (thanks, Thailand), I can afford to eat for 12 more days. It's a good thing my favorite dish is super cheap (and that I get paid Monday).

Yesterday at lunch I went to my usual spot for this dish in Xiasha (the town where I work, not live). It was incredibly busy and so I was told to sit in the upstairs area. I have never gone up there for fear that I will bring the whole place crashing down (architecture isn't as...stable...in the country) and because I am usually wearing heels to work and heels on tiny stairs = a gamble I'm not willing to take.

So...I went upstairs and was pleasantly surprised to find that the muslim family who runs the restaurant keeps their veggies up there! Piles of heads of lettuce, a plastic bag of carrots, and a table covered in peppers littered the floor. I laughed and snapped this photo from my table for one:

Then I thought to myself what grade this would get on the popular news segment in Tampa that rates restaurants. A 4? 3? Warrant for closure? Who cares...the food is goooooood. I wonder how long it takes for the restaurant to go through all these veggies? One, two days? My meal did not have any of these ingredients (where do they keep the tomatoes and eggs? who knows!) How does this compare to the back room of a McDonalds in the US?

I ate my plate of noodles while counting the heads of lettuce, then slowly made my way down the stairs without incident. Another delicious Chi.na meal. Another funny glimpse at how our cultures are so different.

I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.


Walk slow. xo.

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