Beijing 4 $ale, China
Selling crickets, Hòuhǎi, Běijīng, China — June 19, 2006
I tried to buy this cute cricket as a pet. I wasn’t too sure what to feed him, but the seller assured me that he would provide all the necessities to keep this critter alive. I was about to hand over the cash when Luke interjected and said if I bought this cricket he’d kick me out of his place. Luke had generously leased his 3rd bedroom to me for the summer; rather than risk that arrangement, I decided to pass on the adorable cricket. This photo is now the only memory left.
Yáng ròu chuànr 羊肉串 vendor, Dàzhàlán Jiē, Běijīng, China — June 22, 2006
Xinjiang Fandian menu, Dàzhàlán Jiē, Běijīng, China — June 22, 2006
Not to poke fun, because I could not even get a restaurant up and running, no less print menus in a foreign language, but this was quite an entertaining menu, especially the parching barking meat, 炒烤肉 chǎo kǎoròu, which in this case is stir-fried mutton with spices. We did end up eating here, by the way, in in typical Xinjiang culinary fashion, the food was tasty and good, especially the 大盘鸡 da pan ji, or famous big plate chicken. Other dishes of interest include the 手抓肉, shǒu zhuā ròu, grasping mutton, which is a Kazakh dish of chopped lamb with bones that is hand-dipped into a savory soup. Another popular dish was the braised sheep scorpion, which on the menu was creatively referred to as stewing sheep vertebral coloemn, 羊蝎子 yáng xiēzi. The dish is more commonly named braised sheep scorpion because the shape is somewhat like a scorpion; it is enjoyed in the winter. If only I had Google translate combined with Baidu image search in 2004. As everyone has access now, I am sure the curious days of menus like this are long gone.