Creepy Crawlies and Apples?




Overcoming Fears

A couple of weeks ago, I finally ventured out of my comfort bubble. On weekends, I like to sleep in late then go out to eat with friends. Normally, we go to places not too far from home. This time we traveled to 王府井小吃街 (Wángfǔjǐngxiao3chījiē), a tourist-y spot famous for its fun snacks and shopping.

王府井小吃街 had a lot of interesting snacks, ranging from skewers to soup-filled dumplings. I came to try something that new and had it set in my mind I was going to get deep-fried scorpions. Bugs and other creepy crawlies give me the heebie-jeebies so I never thought I’d find myself eating them.

Here goes nothing.

Okay, I didn’t eat all 3. My buddies and I all tried one and I was anxiously anticipating the taste I couldn’t really taste anything. My friends said the tail bit tasted a bit shrimpy but all I can recall was a crunchy texture and a little bit oily (probably because it was deep-fried). They had other bugs and strange creatures such as water beetles and snakes, but I’m satisfied with the scorpions. Next to the cooked scorpions were some alive, still wiggling scorpions on sticks. It was kind of sickening to see before I took my first bite.

Overall, 王府井小吃街 was a bit of a bust. Most of the snacks over-priced gimmicky eats. I’d would definitely go over my budget if I tried to eat until I was full. We went to the KFC to fill up after as we were hungry from the hour long subway ride.

Did someone mention apples?

So in China, Christmas isn’t too big of a holiday since it is a Christian holiday, but recently it has become more and more relevant as it gives people in excuse to celebrate and give gifts.

A Chinese tradition for the Christmas holidays is giving an apple on Christmas Eve. It may seem strange to people outside of China but it has a wholesome meaning behind it. Christmas Eve is called 平安夜 (píngānyè)which sounds like the word for apple, 苹果 (píngguǒ). It is a nice gesture you can do for friends or your teachers.

I ordered 外卖 (wàimài) from a nearby restaurant that does western food decently and in my bag was this apple. I thought it was a sweet gesture and it might be a tradition I’d like to bring back to America.

My apple with a nice little note.

Usually this time of the year I’d be at home enjoying some time with my family, probably petting my doggies and getting fat off of mom’s good cooking. Unfortunately, I’m still chugging through this semester (couple more weeks left woohoo!), and even more unfortunately there is STILL class on Christmas! One of my professors hyped up the class and said she got us a gift for Christmas. She really did us dirty and told us our gift was a quiz for tomorrow (…some gift.)  Oh well, I am here to study so study I shall!

Side note: Sorry I’ve been lagging a bit on regular journal entries. I’m trying my best to juggle my final couple of weeks of school and my obligations to this scholarship.