tasty bytes from China

September 2012
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Shopping in Bangkok
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 11:08 pm


What are the odds of going to Bangkok and running into
someone you know?

Pretty good, that is, if you are on Nana Street taking part of illicit behavior.

Or, if you go to the Siam Center.

Siam is pronounced Seee Ahhhhm.

You can find anything you want to purchase there, from krispy
crème donuts to shoes that feet American feet

And,  even your
Kunming Yoga instructor.

Yes, Jeff and I ran into Tao, my yoga instructor at the Siam

What are the odds?

According to Jeff, 
they are pretty good. I am always bumping into someone I know.

After  my feet got
their fix of their shoe fetish, I tried on dresses.

But I had no intention of purchasing this one…


Or this one…


Instead, I tried them on and took pictures to show the
tailors at Queen Thai silk. They can make me a tailored dress out of silk, for
jut s little bit more than one purchased off the rack.


So my question is, will my silk dress be considered an
original—or a bootleg rip off?

Either way, it’s pretty. I can’t wait to try ‘it on.

I did the measurements on Monday, will go in for a fitting
on Wednesday morning and the dress will be ready to wear on Wednesday night.


Then I can finally retire this pink skirt.


1 comment
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 2:05 pm


A few weeks back, I was invited to go to an art exhibit of a
Chinese artist named Gao Lin An. I didn’t know what to expect. Most art,
regardless of culture, is over my head. I went with my friend Clover who was my
personal interpreter.


First, we signed the guest book. Can you guess which
signature is mine?


This guy got to sign in the old school way.  


After we got a free bag of stuff, we were
invited to nibble on strange hors d’oeuvres.

I didn’t know what to expect from a Chinese Art Exhibit. Would there be panda bears painted on black
velvet? Still lives of dragon fruit and lychee nuts? The Chinese equivalent of Mona Lisa’s smile?


It was the one thing that—er uh, make that two—that all men ponder



And more boobs.



And butts.

Gao Lin An survived China’s cultural revolution, even though
some of his work did not. A ripped corner from one of his works was framed,
being his only work from those years that remained. I didn’t notice it. 

I’m pretty sure most of the male visitors didn’t either.




1 comment
Miss Manners
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 5:22 pm


In China, you can buy about anything at the corner store
except for a newspaper. For that, you’ll go to the nearest bus stop, where they
have bulletins boards posting the daily news.  Many of the old timers ponder to read the paper
from one side of the board to the other. Since my Chinese reading skills rate
up there with my brain surgery expertise, I often just fantasize what the
articles are about.  Are they reading breaking
news headlines about Angelina and Brad’s wedding plans? Or, are they catching
up on the latest advice from Miss Manners?

Here are a few questions you might find in her column:

Dear Miss Manners, a man riding a motorcycle in his pajamas
cut me off on the sidewalk today. What do I say to him (er uh, about his
driving, not his fashion faux pas)?

Dear Miss Manners:  There was a woman standing next to me on the
bus carrying a bucket of live fish. The bus suddenly stopped to avoid hitting an
oxcart, causing water to splash all over my bootleg Nikes. Was I wrong to get


Dear Miss Manners: A neighborhood toddler keeps on taking a
dump in our garden. I’m furious but our rose bushes seem happy. What do I do?


Dear Miss Manners: What is the correct way to eat pig face
in public? Can I use my fingers? What do I do with the hairs?


Dear Miss Manners:  My
husband’s boss is having a dinner party. His wife is serving rat. We are not rodent-atarians.  What is the correct way
to handle this?


Dear Miss Manners. A friend just bought a new car. The decal
is upside down. How do you tell him in a polite way it looks stupid?


Dear Miss Manners,

My neighbor recently started parking his horse in my spot.
Should I leave a note on its mane?


If there is a Chinese Miss Manners, I’d love to read her
column. Just don’t go to the corner store for the paper, just to use her orange bat phone to make important calls.

Doorless Store

Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 4:15 pm

There are a lot of weird foods in China. Some are things
that have no equivalent in the US. Durian, dragon fruit, dried pig face or
this: avocados with handles.

They look more like maracas left by a mariachi band  than something you’d eat.

But then there is food that is weird just because it’s in China.

Take for instance, pasta with pesto sauce.

At this new shopping center near our home, there’s a western
style restaurant called the Cabana.  Not
“western” as in a cowboy motif, but “western” as in offering American style
fixins, with forks and knives yet.

The Cabana has everything short of toilets with seats (many
shopping center restaurants don’t have their own restroom facilities).

We were delightfully surprised by Cabana’s lip-licking menu. French Fries, Mini Pizzas, Jimmy Dean style breakfast sausage and even Pasta with Pesto.

The best part was, the prices were insanely cheap.

So we placed our order, the American way, by pointing at the glossy pictures in
the over sized menu.

Within minutes, the food came out of the kitchen.

That’s when I got suspicious.

First off, they didn’t even have time to boil the water for
pasta, let alone, toss in the sauce.

Which lead to my second question: Where in China are they
getting basil for pesto?

Granted, China has a lot of imports, both the faux pas and
the real deal. Cheetos Cheese Puffs. Armor and Hatchet Baking Soda. Tang breakfast drink with a Nestle’s logo.

I bet they get smuggled in  on trucks like this:


 But fresh basil?

Forget it.

That’s about as rare as an avocado without a handle.

Or Nike shoes without a Nike apparel Tag:



You think this is an official Nike store?

Anyway, back to the bootleg food. The entrees at the Cabana must be pre-made, like the
stuff from  Olive Garden .

So my next question is, where are there any Olive Gardens in

I don’t know how the pesto pasta got to Kunming and I don’t
want to.
It’s probably from the same guy who gets us the “soon to be released “Hollywood

Whoever you are who gets the pre-fab pesto pasta into Kunming, China, our taste buds thank you.

1 comment