Bubble Cake Chicken Farm

March 18, 2014

Food is at the center of almost every action or conversation in China. In the US when we greet people we comment on the weather, but in China it is always, “have you eaten?” I hear it all day every day; in the subways, on the buses, people on their phones, people on the street chatting, “ni chi le mei you?” “Have you eaten or not?” So, naturally, I spend a lot of time in restaurants with friends and associates. Advance plans to eat together are rare. Usually I will get a call at 5:30PM or 5:45PM to meet on the street downstairs from my building at 6:00PM to go eat together. I rush downstairs, and off I go to some previously unknown restaurant where I undoubtedly will eat something I have never eaten before. Occasionally the menus are translated into English to help the foreign customer in deciding what to eat. One problem with this is that often I am not any better off after I read the English than when I started. But it doesn’t really matter; in China one person, the host, will do all of the ordering for all of the people. We all share the food and there is always plenty and a wide variety to chose from. And no matter what the menu says (in English), it is always delicious!

“Ni chi le mei you” (pronounced: “knee chur luh may yo”)? –James Elaine