The other day,  my roommate offered me a bag of long, white objects saying “Try one, they’re quite nice”. I didn’t think to ask what it was, I simply reached into the bag and pulled out….a whole pickled chicken head. As a matter of fact, it was quite tasty. The only real drawback was that you had to bite around the beak.

The thing is, I get served most of my meals in canteens. I don’t really know the names of the dishes so I sort of just point at what looks nice. Consequently, I end up with a lot of weird things on my plate. Some canteens I go into look like they are serving twenty of the same oily dish, miscellanous meat and miscellanous vegetables aplenty. Can I help it if the thing I pick out which I thought was slices of cabbage turned out to be boiled pig stomachs? And how was I to know that those overly expensive mushrooms were actually lamb hearts? Actually, the lamb hearts were truly delicious, like really tiny rare steaks. Can’t say the same for the pig stomachs, which tasted uncannily like stringy cabbage.

The other day I went to a specialty Fish Head restaurant and had fish heads, bonemeal broth (reminds me of porridge) and pigeon brains (eggy…) for dinner. My friends told me that the cheek of the fish is the best part, a delicacy in fact. In fact the fish head doesn’t taste too different to the rest of the fish, but I respect that it’s not going to waste, at least. However, I still have to poke out the eye before I eat it…

It’s not just the meat, though. Once I bought what I thought was a tasty cream cake on an iced bun. It turned out to be cheese. Another time I bought what I thought was cheese. It turned out to be candy. One time someone gave me a little something wrapped up like candy. Actually, it was beef.

I often buy ‘cakes’ in the shops around here.  Just think of all the lovely things about cakes! The toppings: sugar, icing, chocolate sprinkles, glace cherries, sesame seeds, jam, cream, raisins, blueberries, CHOCOLATE! And the fillings:  strawberry, raspberry, custard, sugar, fruit, honey, jam, cream, syrup, oats, CHOCOLATE! Well , in China cake toppings are usually kidney beans. And cake fillings are usually… kidney beans. Even if they look like they’re not. They are always made of f***ing kidney beans. I’m so bored of kidney beans. Give me a Bakewell tart any day!

And just wait until I tell you about Donghuamen Night Market…


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