Thursday, August 7, 2008

Beijing Food


The Olympics are starting tomorrow. Some friends reminded me of what those attending could be eating. From 1998 to 2000 I traveled overseas every month to every continent except Africa. On my first trip to Beijing, I flew direct from Detroit, leaving at 1230 and arriving at 1330 the next day after a 13-hour flight. I went to work then the local rep took us to dinner at the Peking Duck restaurant in Beijing. We began dinner with a Lazy Susan with every part of the duck cooked separately. I ate liver, gizzard, duck tongue and cow face soup, etc until the feet came around to me. I was next to an Australian who said he loved this stuff and ate feet with gusto. Next to the feet were scorpions. I skipped the feet unnoticed because I ate two big scorpions hoping they would be like crawfish. They were. I was fine.

But we had rice wine with dinner and by the time I collapsed in my bed in my clothes near midnight I had been up for 36 hours. At 3 am I woke up because I heard a man yelling—it was me. I was soaked with sweat and convinced those two scorpions had reassembled themselves and were marching up my throat to kill me.

I actually liked the scorpions, but have not eaten them since.