There are still a lot of stories to share from China, but for now I want to show everyone tonight’s activities. We got back late this afternoon from a 1-night trip to Shanghai, where we did some fish work out there. Unfortunately, with less than 24 hours in Shanghai and all of those hours spent either working or sleeping, there wasn’t any chance to see the city or go out at all. But I guess I can at least say I’ve been there. I’m back in Beijing now and should be here until Sunday the 8th when I head back to Japanland.
The hotel breakfast this morning (Wednesday) was some gross eggs, tofu sausages, and 2 weird bricks of toast. Our lunch was plane food – a small dish of noodles, 5 cherry tomatoes, and a roll. Since we had such awesome meals all day, we headed out for early dinner around 5, going to some restaurant in a different hotel nearby. We had a half Peking Duck and some dim sum, which was really good. We were pretty full, but still ready to check out the night market in Wangfujing around 9PM.
We had walked around nearby this area our first night in Beijing last week, but somehow we didn’t see the night market selling all kinds of food. I don’t know how we missed it, but as soon as our taxi pulled up tonight we knew we were in the right place. It’s just one stretch of road, about 3 or 4 blocks long, lined with carts selling food. All kinds of food. Most of it is on skewers and either grilled or deep-fried, but this isn’t just regular stuff like chicken or beef. While of course they have those, this night market is famous for having weird foods. Starfish, sea horses, blood cake, bee larvae, centipedes, and tons of other animals and animal parts were available for purchase. It was pretty interesting, and of course there were a lot of other tourists walking around, freaking out at seeing some of the offerings. We decided we should definitely try something new, and it took us a full walk down and up the street before we decided what to start with. Unfortunately, at 9:45 the main string of lanterns all down the street went off, prompting the cart workers to start shutting down immediately. A fire evacuation would have taken longer – these guys know how to pack up and go home! So we only had about 30 or 40 minutes to walk around and eat a little bit.
The “weird” things we ate tonight weren’t really that weird, so I want to head back at least one more time before I leave. We started off with deer and ostrich skewers, which were actually both really good. Neither were gamey at all, and the flavor was nice. I’d had deer before, but I think this was the first ostrich. We also ate some dumplings and candied strawberries, to ingest some non-strange stuff. The weirdest thing of the night was right at closing time:
Haha, that’s right!
We got some fried scorpions on a stick, which really weren’t bad at all. But not really so great either. They’re fairly small, and deep fried, so there isn’t much taste or texture. But they are kind of expensive, mostly due to the tourist attraction-ness of it all. 3 small scorpions on a stick was 15 RMB, so just over 2 bucks USD. For 50 RMB, you can get the huge scorpions, but I didn’t feel like putting up that much money or biting into a giant scorpion.
Next time I definitely want to try some seahorse and/or perhaps centipede. Maybe the homeless guy with gangrenous legs will be there, and my dad can give him half a skewer of strawberries again.