I didn't expect to see you here. For the past week, I was not allowed to get to my own blog. You see, there are things that aren't allowed from certain countries... present country included. Facebook is one, and... so is this blog (any blog on blogspot, actually). So I don't think they'll mind if I find a way around their stoppage.

I'll tell you how after I get home.

If they're thinking I'm going to say something bad about their country, they can think again. I like it here. I mean, it's not home, but if you gotta travel, China is a great place to go.

I'm reminded of something that I forgot. Chinese food in America... is not Chinese food.

We sat at a big table and a lazy susan the size of.... let's just say susan didn't miss any meals lately.... circled food around in front of us. Lot's of stuff. Good stuff. But prepared... differently. Like the fish. The whole thing was there. You just cram your chopsticks in and tear off pieces of meat... while it watches you... staring blankly up with gray eyes. "Eye" rather, it was on its side.

There were the usual meats, like beef ribs where the meat just falls off the bone. And eggplant with cuttlefish. Oh yeah and these tortilla shaped riceflour crepes - the kind they make in the market. A guy sits Buddha-like with his hot pan and slings rubbery rice dough at it like a big white loogie, as it taps the pan the residue heats and peels off as the crepe. I learned tonight that you put pork or pressed duck in there with bamboo or cucumber and some huisin sauce and eat it like a burrito. And finally, there was that pile of chicken meat...amidst the bones. And just off to the side, the skull and beak.

It's not bad food. In fact, it's great. The presentation, however, in America would shock the poor culinary wimp who would likely send the whole plate back to the kitchen and leave with a vendetta to tell everyone in their neighborhood what a lousy restaurant that one is.

"oh dahling, let's have Chinese tonight..." Better be careful what you ask for. The duck-blood jello cubes aren't nearly as interesting to eat as the chicken's feet. Neither of which were served by the way at tonight's banquet put on for we 20 or so Americans. They only picked out the food they considered to be "westernized".

Now that I can get in... I'll try and write again soon!