"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The View from the Back of the Bus, Part 1, Tibetan Pizza and Dragon Fruit

This is a favored joke in China:

The four things that will make you happy:

1.  Chinese food.

2.  American salary.

3.  British house.

4.  Japanese wife.

Beware the lovely dragon fruit.

Though delicious, it will have you draggin' your body to the bathroom every few minutes if you eat more than a slice

The four things that will make you unhappy:

1.  British food.

2.  Chinese salary

3.  Japanese house.

4.  American wife.

Clever, that joke.

Make noodles, most of which land in the simmering pot.

Tibetan pizza.
  Everything I ate in China and Tibet was delicious, though I think something was  lost in the translation when I ate a piece of pizza made in Lhasa.  Rather than  pepperoni, there was a slice of dried sausage that I suspect might have been yak.   It tasted fine but was too tough for pizza.

The sausage probably would have been delicious when tucked into a slice of bread with mustard.  Ditto for the cheese that barely melted.  

We appreciated the effort, though.

One of the best meals of the whole trip, in a Tibet restaurant.  The tomato soup alone was to die for.

It reminded me of a bus ride in Fiji when the local guide mentioned the American Embassy was coming up on the right.  And there, twin yellow arches aglow in the night, was a McDonalds.  It got a laugh out of the group, but I wondered if foreigners everywhere judged American food, and especially hamburgers, by the McD version, of which I am definitely not a fan.

In a Tibetan restaurant.

And I wondered, in China and Tibet, if the oh-so-familiar “Chinese” food we were offered was authentic or Americanized for the tourists.   The dining establishments to which we were taken were chosen carefully for cleanliness and quality of food.

When eating in restaurants, we were given small plates, much like Anerican luncheon plates, or smaller.  More like saucers.  When our trip first began, our guide put one item on her small plate, then returned to the buffet for something else after she'd finished that.   She looked at our plates, small piles of numerous choices, and asked how we could stand eating like that--all those different things on the plate at once.  By the time the trip was over, she too was coming to the table with several items on her plate.

When we asked out guide what her favorite food was, she brightened noticably and said, "Pizza!"

We then disabused her of the notion that McD's hamburgers were like the real thing back home.


  1. I do not know exactly when your birthday is but I assume it is soon.I think the best gift you have already received was being groped by the monk!!! Just think that a almost 70 years young lady is still that attractive. Enjoy the polar bears. Waiting for pictures. Happy Birthday, Katy Soucy

  2. Katy, the monk was blinded by the bright light!!!! That's why he stumbled and fell into me in the first place. I'm not sure he knew what he had hold of. But thanks for the thought.