27
Mar
07

Eating today…

So, anyone who knows me knows I’m dreadful at eating. I’m a slow eater, and I procrastinate. When it was time for me to get off the mandated meal plan in college, my mother knew that my diet would be brownies and lasagna and pasta out of the box. I have essentially eaten Velveeta Shells and Cheese or spaghetti with sauce out of jar (with slight additions every now and then, like frozen peas) for dinner for years. (This was livened up by getting to know the Domino’s and Wings Express and Subway delivery men in college personally, and a few outings on the restaurant scene every now and then afterwards in New York).

Before coming to Taiwan, I figured I’d successfully avoid the gooey golden Velveeta processed cheese product goodness for the next few years. A friend brought it to my attention that there’s probably no actual non-artificial ingredients in the aforementioned flavorful squish, and I figured it was time to grow up.

So, I came to Taiwan and ate dumplings. I bought a large bag of frozen dumplings and dumpling juice (it’s a little bottle that’s got brownish black soy-sauce and vinegar and little ginger flecks in it) from the grocery store (Mat- su –sei as the ads chime), and basically ate that every night until that first happy payday.

Then, I basically ate out for the rest of the time. All the restauranteurs of the area know me now. Some of them complimented me on my improved Chinese today, actually. I struck up conversations with the sweet couple who served me dumplings (Yes, I still like dumplings.), the busy red-aproned servers at the bustling place I pick up fried dumplings and buns and fried beef noodles (and my nutritionist mother is tut-tutting me in my head as I type “fried” so I’ll stop), and so forth.

Today I did the usual– procrastinated about eating breakfast until it was lunch (well, I didn’t exactly wake up early either). Unusually, I actually went out in the spitter spatter of rain and had the pay con dan bing (bacon-egg wrapped in a thin pancake of sorts), which my roommate has gotten me quite fond of. I talked to the English-speaking server there about his trip to America, and he showed me his six-month old son’s photograph, very cute kid with big ears and a red visor from the US. We had a nice little chat about my reading comprehension in Chinese as I finished my warm do jang (sweet soy milk).

When I got to school, one of the Chinese teachers carefully handed me a cup of dark do jang and a manto— a steamed bun.

After I finished work late, I went to get dinner and the red-aproned ladies were cleaning up the store, so I went next door to a place famous for pig feet and got chicken instead. The man and I spoke in a mishmash of English and Chinese as he thoughtfully warmed up my chicken leg in the soy-sauce pot. He said he hopes that the store will be my favorite and gave me my corner-rubber-banded bien dang or take-away box.

Unfortunately, I got home, promptly got on the internet and meant to eat dinner a bit later. I finally ended up doing the absent-minded pick with the chopsticks, eyes glued to the screen, and swallowed a chicken bone that wished it was lukewarm. So perhaps it is poetic justice if I feel slightly queasy now.

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2 Responses to “Eating today…”


  1. March 29, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    except for the chicken bone, all I can say is, YUM.

    yum yum yum yum yum.

  2. March 29, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Yup! Yummy is the name of the game here.


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