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Mar 11, 2008

Today, Instead -- the Jade City

So apparently this is "Durham bloggers go to communist countries month".  If my travels took me to the Emerald City, I guess that the Durham Foodie is off to the Jade City -- Beijing.  Yesterday Kelly had an interesting post on Chinese censorship:

The whole censorship thing really gets under my skin. Besides Google blogger, China censors the BBC Web site, parts of CNN web, and various other news outlets that do not reflect their party line. I was watching CCN on the TV this evening and there was a piece on about the alleged terrorist plot that China thwarted. About 2 minutes into the broadcast the TV went dead. A few minutes later it went live in the middle of another broadcast.

Nothing to report on food. I worked all day and am too tired to eat.

Go visit Durham Foodie this week for more from China, and for months and months of yet more food.  Be warned -- reading her blog can make you very hungry.

Two random bits on Chinese food:

1.  My new Australian friend Karen sometimes visits China where she does not speak the languages.  A paraphrase of her comment: "My best friend in China threatens me to stay on her good side.  'Don't piss me off or your next meal is dog.'  And yes, dog is on every menu."

2.  Calvin Trillin -- a big fan of Chinese food in New York and elsewhere -- supposedly carries a card in his wallet with these words: "I'll have what that guy over there is having."

I'm back in the US for a month or so, but I'll be continuing with posts on the Emerald City this week and next.

11:16 PM in Food, Links of Note, Recipes | Permalink


Perfect. So now the US Air Force and China have the censoring/blocking of anything with "blog" in the title or URL in common. Sweet. And the new Air Force motto? "Above All!" Pretty sure it can be reasonably translated as "Ueber Alles!" Now why does that sound vaguely familiar? The best part is that we probably paid some firm a lot of money to come up with that.

Welcome home Phil!

Posted by: Doc | Mar 11, 2008 11:43:25 PM

Thanks, Doc!

I didn't know about the USAF, but I have been thinking of "other totalitarian regimes I have known." I visited the Philippines twice while Marcos was ruling under "martial law." And I visited Indonesia twice during Suharto's regime. Both were fine illustrations of an econo-political situation known as "capitalism without democracy." Cuba may soon go the same way. It's hard for many of us (me included) to think of "capitalism without democracy." We're conditioned to think they are automatically hand-in-hand. But they're not.

Posted by: Phil | Mar 12, 2008 12:48:26 AM

The foodie site Chowhound.com (prior to its sale to CNET) used to sell a business-card sized Chowhound Translator card.

If memory served, it had, in about eight different languages, short phrases encouraging waiters and restaurant proprietors to serve authentic (and authentically spiced) food to the foreigner presenting the card.

It was apparently written in good, mildly funny idiomatic language, e.g., the Chinese version said something like, "I have a Western face but a Chinese stomach" as the preface to explaining that you really did want the full treatment with the Sichuan peppercorns, etc.

Trillin used to be a semi-regular at the old Chowhound site (full disclosure: as did I), and I'd bet you anything that the card he carried around was one of the old Translators. :-)

Posted by: Barry Campbell | Mar 12, 2008 10:14:26 AM

When I was a road warrior, I had a colleague who had a gift for finding the best Chinese restaurant in any town. - Kansas City, Kalamazoo, it didn't matter. She would order for us all in Chinese. "So, B-, what are we eating?" "Don't worry about it." It was always delicious.

Qing gei wo yi bei pi jiu.

Posted by: Tim | Mar 14, 2008 11:15:25 PM