food, glorious food

so we’ve been on the road for exactly eleven days. i can’t believe that – we’ve seen and done so much already that it feels like longer. I finally think i’m “settled in” to traveller mode. neither of us has been ill (touch wood) though with all the dust, pollution, and cigarette smoke, my sinuses are in a constant state of rebellion. but we’ve eaten and drunk a whole range of things and not had any ill effects.

food is just everywhere, man. wherever you go, wherever you look, you’re never more than a few meters from food. they’re very fond of meat-on-a-stick, from hot dogs to kebabs. the sidewalks smell like a perpetual barbeque. noodles and pastries are deep fried in woks on the side of the road. and dumplings. i must’ve had every type of dumpling known to mankind – steamed, fried, souped…mmmm. you can never go wrong with dumplings. i am really craving some fresh veg right about now, but a ceasar salad in not in the near future, so i’ll live. the pastries are so lovely – crispy, flakey things, filled with sweet bean paste or lotus seed paste or ground almonds. the other day for dinner, i had a local specialty, pingyao beef. i swear to god, it was the exact same thing as the corned beef my mother makes on st. patricks day. i can’t find it for love nor money in london, but it’s right under my nose in pingyao. and the beer – i have half a notion that the amount of alcohol we’ve been drinking is killing off any incipient bacteria or viruses. but beer is the usual beverage accompaniment for most meals here, so when in china… besides, it’s cheap (at 3 yuan for a 750ml bottle of 9 percent stuff, you can get pretty wasted for about 50p), it’s tasty, it’s filling and it’s sociable. I may soon develop a beer belly. maybe that was buddha’s problem.

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