Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In Beijing, Enjoy the Food, No Questions Asked

One night, I went out to eat to a small local restaurant with a college friend who had been living in Beijing for a while. After we failed to read the Menu’s Chinese characters, we tried to use gestures to explain to the waiter what we wanted to eat.

First, we tried to point out at someone else’s dish, so we could order the same. However, we arrived late, and everyone at the restaurant had finished eating. They only had beer bottles on their tables.

Then, we attempted to enter the kitchen to show the waiter what we wanted to eat. But the cook obviously refused to let us in. At that moment my hunger blurred my rational thoughts, but now I wonder: What were they keeping in their kitchens? We’ll never know.

After several minutes of miscommunication, I took out a writing block and a pen from my purse and I started drawing out our order. Although the drawing wasn’t very clear, the waiter nodded to give us the impression she understood what we wanted.

Proud of our creative initiatives and satisfied with our accomplishment, we smiled as we eagerly waited for our food.

Before we could finish the first round of beers, the waiter brought our order. Even though it was not what we wanted, we could not complain in Chinese. So we shrugged our shoulders and digged into the dish. Luckily, it was delicious!

When I was in Beijing, I was never sure of what I ate, however, like this time, I was always pleased to savor new and delicious flavors.

Although I have to admit, I think I enjoyed the food so much because I never asked what I was ingesting. Sometimes it is better not to ask. At the end, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Right?

For more information about places where you can go eat in Beijing visit:

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