Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Imagine Eating Squid On A Stick At The State Fair

For me, this is a visual that pretty much sums up our first-ever Miao Hui outing yesterday.

Much of the experience was of the familiar variety. The fair was essentially an enormous midway. Up and down the street strolled thousands and thousands of visitors (the ever-present sea of black heads). Along both sides were food stalls, merchants hawking all kinds of products, and games for kids (and adults!) to play. We could have been back in North Carolina, except for a few unmistakable Chinese characteristics.

The toys. What you saw kids (including Julie and Z) walking around with were these colorful, noisy handmade contraptions. (The name of these devices now escapes me. The word feng was in there, as the wheels spin round and round when caught in the wind.)

The games included ones of the shoot 'em up variety, where you fire plastic pellets at balloons on the wall. Z claims he popped six balloons during his go at it.

Then, as always, there is the food. We sampled a variety of lao Beijing snacks. These are classic walk-around treats that the locals enjoy at fairs like this.

There was this plate of what looked to be potato slices, slathered in oil and garlic. Except that our Beijing friends insisted they were not potatoes we were eating. So who knows!?

There were skewers of bing tang hu lu, the Chinese hawthorns that were exotic to us just a few months ago. By now they have become a regular part of our "fun-place" diet.

There were big round pieces of nang, a Muslim flat bread that has, thankfully, become a staple for Z at events like this.

And then there was the biggest surprise of all...A bowl that was called something like cha tang. This "tea soup" came in a variety of familiar sounding flavors. I chose the "milk tea" variety. What I was handed was a small plastic bowl that was piping hot and white in color. (Other varieties were dark in color.) It was kind of slimy and there were small nuts and things floating in there. Totally delicious. And the kind of thing I probably would not have known to try had it not been for Andi and his family. So thanks guys for helping us continue our little culture and food exploration!

~Steve

2 Comments:

At 4:10 AM, Blogger Deng De Wei said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:11 AM, Blogger Deng De Wei said...

Nice post !

Thought you might want to join the group "Secret Beijing" on Facebook, and share you post and pics with the group.

http://tinyurl.com/yawby68

Ludovic @SecretBeijing

 

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