Ah, Beijing. My childhood was traumatized here. I recall coming to this city as a child with my father. When I was bad he would threaten that I would be left on the streets in Beijing. My worst fear at that age was to be left as a begging child in this “forbidden city.”
Today, it’s a little different. The streets of BJ are not dirt like they were 18 years ago. Now they are paved well and of course filled w/ cars, bicycles, and other motorized things. I’ve been back to Beijing four times since my childhood, but I’ve never been in the winter. And, I must say. It’s much better in the wintertime. The air is cleaner and because it’s Chinese new year it is much more empty (by empty I mean it’s like a normal US city).
Arriving on the eve of Chinese new year Bruce and I met up w/ my friend Yen Jie. Trained as a Shaolin Kung Fu master, Yen Jie is one of a kind. I’ve never seen someone move as gracefully and eat so poorly. He is a true miracle and anomaly.
Since it was Chinese new year most places were closed and Yen Jie arranged for us to eat at his other Godmother’s house. Hot pot for me is usually filled with meat, green vegetables, and of course mushrooms. I forgot that hot pot didn’t mean the same thing to everyone.
Tip for Traveling Foodies: Hot pot is seriously a giant hot pot that you stick things in. Make sure you aren’t squeamish because living animals do get pushed into a hot pot. Like crab.
This hot pot was filled w/ seafood (which I like), and of course meat ball like things (which contain flour). For those of you who know me. You know I’m gluten intolerant. No, I’m not refraining from eating gluten because I don’t want to get fat, nor do I have silliac’s disease. I’m somewhere in between the two. For some reason I get a harsh reaction when I have too much gluten.
After dinner a midnight firecracker show displayed the new year, the year of the rabbit. Tip for Travelers: Chinese New Year is a great time to visit China if you want everything closed and less populated. Also know that fireworks go off all day and night for two weeks straight. If you’re a war veteran, you might just get flash backs. Bring ear plugs they will save you.
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