Sunday, June 03, 2007

Recovery Day

Yesterday Echo and I took the 5 hour bus ride back to Kunming from Dali. Today there was an earthquake somewhere in southern Yunnan. We didn't feel anything here, but we might have in Dali...who knows. After we got back and checked back into the hotel Camilla, where we stayed the first time, we went for something to eat. I have to say the food is a bit of an issue. You really have to be picky about where you eat because the health and cleanliness of most resturants is poor to bad. The rule seems to be pick a place that is a bit expensive. Everything here seems to be fried and swimming in lots of grease and oil. I really have a decent constitution, but that much grease will really get to me, besides I'm watching my colesteral. Echo says in the northern part of China things are steamed more. So yesterday we found a decent place and asked for the dumplings to be steamed. They looked at us funny...but complied.
I don't know what you'd do as a diabetic here though, or a handicapped person. I think your health would be greatly effected. there are no Handicapped signs of facilities like the states. No Sweat-N-Low on the tables. usually there isn't even any salt. I brought a pack of Splenda with me. Diet Coke or Coke Light as they call it is found rarely here. Coffee? hahah-try Nestlie instant fool! At least here at the Camilla Hotel the breakfast is a real western breakfast with real good brewed coffee. I think I will drink 7 pots when I get back!

I've learned you can't trust the picture on the menu, the picture will look good but the real dish will be swimming in grease and you MUST always make sure any drink has no ice or iosn't made with water that isn't boiled. Echo's mom got bad diareah for several days, lossing almost 10 lbs., by eating in a local resturant that Echo and I refused to eat in. Her cousin wanted to meet us there for lunch, and when I walked in and saw all the raw food, filth on tables and floors, dozens of unbussed tables, raw meet with lots of flies I said-NO WAY! We beat it outta there-lucky too as that's where mom got the bad food.

I find the diet to basically be the same everywhere except for more or less spice and more or less grease. Pork, some times thin slices of meat with a 3 times the size unk of fat attached, or diced up pork, chicken and hardly any beef. Greens, your mustard grens , bok choy type, and soups. In Beijing I ate a dish of the largest snow peas I have ever seen...and it was awesome. they were the size of banannas! I have enjoyed the food for the most part, even the greasy stuff tastes good, who doesn't like a greasy burger now and then for instance, grease has a lot of flavor.

We ate, walked a bit and shopped and hit the bookstore again where I got two more fantastic books on figure drawing which I can't rerad because they are in Russian and Chinese. Tghen we went to Karioki again with Echo's mom, aunt and cousin. I was pretty burned out after dali, it was so beautiful and there is so much to see here it is like a sensory overload every day. Artistically it is really a magnificent experience and I would like to make another trip in a few years, but this time just to draw and paint, so we'd travel a lot lighter and stay longer, not constantly be on the go. I felt last night like my head was just worn down from all the cool, fantastic and strange things I've seen in the two weeks.

Also it's a good experience to be out of your little pool, being in a place so different in some respects and in parts, the same, like all the trendy stores. I don't mind not speaking chinese that well, and I learn a few things each day, my ear ofr the language is up now, I can tell repeated phrases and sentences.

So today we are gonna just relax, eat, maybe walk, maaaaybe hit the museum, or not. We have been go-go-go since we came here and we both would like to chill a bit. 2 days and we head back home. I miss my pooch Shazam and a good Wawa hoagie right about now.



Dave said...

When I was in China for a summer I was worried about the condition of the food too. But then I walked through the meat market. It was an open air market with meat hanging in the open for all flies and dust to gather on. After that I figured this was the quality of meat most of the restaurants were buying so I made sure to buy the spicy foods. It I made me sweat and cry but the food was very good. I only got sick once the whole summer though a friend of mine got an amoeba and had diarrhea until the amoeba was taken care of.

Mike M said...

Dave, I was fanatical about drinking only bottled water and shying away from any place that was just too dirty to eat at. And no ice! Only fruit we peeled. We'd walk past many places that smelled good, and we were hungry, but hunger is better than the poops or even worse, the parasite like your friend had. I had a friend travel to Mexico and pick up a parasite, it tooks months for it to go away.

I'd say 99% of resturants we ate at were visually dirtier than any US resturant,many resturants had people cleaning, chopping and preparing food in the open air right on the flithy street, covered in garbage milk, filth and who knows what. The rule was the more expensive the cleaner, the newer the cleaner. It had to be boiled or really cooked well done.