Monday, June 8, 2009

What's Eating in the Land of Chairman Mao?

I don't know what's with China these days. My sister and brother in law are packing up for that trip to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. Somehow it feels good to remember my own travels to China.

A few years ago, China has been a big subject during my graduate school days. There had been a lot of lecture sessions wherein the only subject was China and its ascension to the WTO. I somewhat seemed to enjoy those discussions, but when I was about to make my graduate paper (pretending to major in international trade) and went to China- Hong Kong myself, I was entirely into different things. What had I been doing during the trip?

I wrote down notes and pointers on the airplane, feeling scholarly. But when I landed in Mao's territory, all thoughts of my studies just vanished into thin air. I went around, ate around, goofed around...

- hunted for fruits at the backstreet Shenzhen market. I wasn't much into the thought that Shenzhen was the first city of China to embrace globalization - I cared more about finding dragon fruits and plums (which I smuggled on the way back home).

- searched for bloody diamonds at a jewelry store in Hong Kong...

- watched the Chinese junk boats at the harbor.

All of that, besides finding the handprints of Jet Li, eating dimsum and sipping sugarcane juice, paying homage to the statue of Bruce Lee... eating noodles at Kowloon and marveled at the duck offerings at the street boutiques... That and much, much more. One should book a trip to China/ Hong Kong himself - immediately!

The Chinese have had close ties with Filipinos that even our food here has a lot of Chinese influence. I didn't remember much what I studied for my graduate paper. The statistics, the theories, the business terms...Oh, over time, what truly stayed with me was the food that the people eat in the land of Chairman Mao.

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