Male Phobia
Monday, June 27, 2005
  A vegetarian in Changsha
My dad was shocked, and my mom was quite happy. The fact of me being a vegetarian certainly isn't easy for a traditional meat-eating Chinese man like my Dad to accept. Neither did my meals in Beijing go well. I was starving being mixed with non-vegetarian people. I could only have vegetable leaves everyday, that was far from enough for somebody who has a big stomach as mine. I didn't have the appetite for the flight food. And I was right. They had only got beef rice and chicken noodles. I had a bum instead. The chilli sauce they provided was not bad though. And I have to say, Hainan Airline has the best service and aircrafts among domestic Chinese airlines. It is highly recommended, if you are flying from Beijing to Changsha, Changsha to Haikou, or Beijing to Haikou. It always flies Boeing 767-300 aircrafts - you've got a personal TV screen and quite nice fruits. They've got an extrodinary variety of fresh fruit juice as well. They have good looking steward/esses and not like those from other airlines, they smile a lot. Most impressive for me this time, is that they provided very warm and immediate disable assistant!

Anyways, back to the topic of being a vegetarian. After all the encountering of poor vegetarian food and my Dad's objection for me to be a vegetarian, I didn't give it much hope to have a good dinner after all, though the temperature here had dropped to 25 degree after a heavy rain. My parents took me to this place literally translated as 'Delicious food street'. It is an indoor resturant, but sold food in a style as if you are in a night market. Out of my expectation, my parents ordered me loads of very delicious, hot, spicy food. I had red oil bean curd, agaric salad, stewed aubergine, pad Chinese ;), stinky tofu, steamed pumpkin, steamed taro and some others. I'm so full now, for the first time of the past few days, and I can't really jump around with my left foot only now - there are too much to carry!

This is my first time stepping into my city being a vegetarian. And this also the first time I saw my parents after they divorced. All seemed alright! After all I realized this is my city - the city of food. Whatever option you hold, as long as you like spicy food, it's the heaven to you! And these are my parents.
Judging from the frequency of your blogging, you must be bored. I do like your academic writings, poem translation is certainly very satisfying, may I have a go? I sort of envy that you have the mood and time to dream, to write, I think I am a bit lost in the real world now, the beauty of the words has been outshone by the more straight forward eye-candys. Hey I have to create my own account to give you my comment, so who knows, I may be writing something...
Hope you can see this and recognize me - one of your old friend.
Aiyaaaaa ChouDouFu!! I remember when my friend introduced me to it when I was in Changsha - he insisted I eat it saying "It smells really bad but it tastes great!" but for me it tasted just as bad as it smelt.

I also remember him tellig me that traditionally or in myth they were meant to have been made using men's dirty bathwater. Or maybe he was joking. Have you ever heard that story?

But I can completely sympathise with you. Each time I go to China, finding things I can eat is very difficult so I either found myself relegated to eating hotel beefburgers in Shanghai (rotating with a kind of delicious onion bread in local takeaways), duck and chicken in Hunan and Watermelon in Sichuan. But finding things without any kind of pork = argh argh argh!

I really want to try some sichuan huoguo without pork though. Would be delicious.
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