Chicken feet and clubbed frog
After the panda reserve, we did some shopping Saturday at a market. Alice referred to it as “Chinatown” but that seems redundant to me. Wouldn’t it just be “Town” when we’re already in China? Katie acquired another glass bauble and another fan. Apparently you can never have to many of those. Claire, in keeping with her personality, acquired a bamboo sword.
I’m looking for something I know I’ll never find, so I ordered a new bike helmet in the wee hours of the morning from my hotel room. The online cart will filled while I was in China, so it counts as a souvenir.
Back of the hotel, 9 of the 11 girls had a cannonball contest at the rooftop pool in very cold water. My three-week old Entertainment Weekly got soaked from splashes. We’ve been so busy this first week and a half, I still haven’t finished it.
Before dinner, we visited the local food market. The produce looked quite fresh. Along the back and sides, they had meat and fish. A chicken was being plucked in the corner. He was selling whole chickens and various parts, including the feet. A few fish were still flopping in a plastic bag as they were being weighed for sale. The frog wasn’t so lucky. Its vendor grabbed it by its back leg and banged it on the table to kill it. We ended up purchasing some lo mein noodles and dumplings to take to a hot pot restaurant.
On the way to the restaurant, we had an impromptu talent show. Part song contest (with beat boxing!), magic show, random noises and a few jokes. Most of the participants were little girls. Most. Sample joke:
“How do you wake up Lady Gaga?”
“Poke R Face!”
Alice led the adults in a rousing rendition of “You are my Sunshine” to the astonishment our daughters who didn’t know we old folks could sing.
At the restaurant each table had large hole in the center of the table with a two nested pots. The inner pot with a mild white broth and an outer pot with a very spicy reddish brown broth. Little satellite plates had uncooked food ready to be boiled including our newly acquired lo mein noodles and dumplings. It was all laid out for us when we arrived, but when Alice saw what was selected she requested they swap out most of the exotic ingredients with tamer ones.
Sensing the need for more than 3 ounces of drink to accompany the food boiled in the outer ring, I opted for a pint of Blue Sword Beer. I dunked food mostly in the outer ring and it was the spiciest meal I’ve ever had. When I ran of the near-beer, I knew I was done eating, but not before touching my eyelid and causing it to burn for the latter half of the meal. Daubing my tear duct with a moistened napkin didn’t help at all.
A couple of hours later the pain subsided.