China is all about the food. Restaurants meals, street snacks, and the things in between: Food is everywhere. Life stops at meal times. When the lunch buzzer sounds all work is dropped – it is time to eat.
The night before our wedding reception I sat in the hotel where the event was to be held, waiting for the decorator. Mrs. Stevo called him after he was 20 minutes late. “He eating dinner, he will be here soon,” she informed me. My protests and indignation fell on deaf ears: He was eating dinner, end of story. Meals in my Canadian neck of the woods came after work was done, not in the midst of it.
I have often wondered if Chinese surgeons take a break from operations if they have been scheduled during meal times. Don’t laugh – In China anything is possible.
You probably have a local restaurant or two, maybe even one serves your country’s localized equivalent of Chinese cuisine. There’s probably a convenience store for quick snacks. I said China is all about the food – that’s no understatement. Snacks abound. Convenience stores have a steam table full of hot nibbles, street vendors sell a scores of “on a stick” snacks, fruit merchants sell pineapples, sugar cane, orange, raisins and water chestnuts from the beds of large cargo tricycles.
I have learned to keep my attraction to street food in check. The treadmill penance required keep my mid-life waistline acceptably attractive is difficult – it’s easier not to indulge. Above, a mother feeds her toddler daughter fish balls from a local snack emporium – a very common sight.