Chinese Standards

My new co-worker, David, and I both have Thursdays and Fridays off, so yesterday we went exploring downtown.

“is this squid on a stick kosher?”

“The next person who calls me lao wei…”

The Lonely Planet mentions that Yantai #2 beach is a popular spot for weddings, but mere words cannot describe about a mile of gorgeous coastline, full of bridal photographers and couples in rental clothes.

After David shouted “mazol tov!” at three or four couples, I thought it would be best to runaway and hide, I mean, we went looking for a place to have dinner. First, we tried that Green Island coffeeshop where Fresca and I got good coffee and bad cake. Green Island, kind of like Starbacks-meets-Tiki-Room with a Yantai flair, is decorated with hanging vines and a huge tree in the center. All the walls, actually, all the surfaces, are covered in silk flowers and leaves, and there are little nests with painted birds around the room.

Since Fresca and I last went, the owners have picked up a live bird. It makes the sound of a toddler throwing a temper tantrum at three or four second intervals. We didn’t stay there.

Then we went to a little place where our waitress called over a translator. The translation waitress asked us in English “Do you want to eat food? Do you want to eat Chinese food? Do you want to eat food? Chinese food.” I asked her what kind of food, and she said “It’s Chinese food. Do you eat Chinese food?” I asked if it was meat, or vegetables, or noodles, or dumplings and she said “Chinese food.” Yes, i understand that, since we’re in CHINA.

So we left and found a little Japanese place. In Yantai, most seafood restaurants put out aquariums full of fish, shellfish, molluscs, wormy bottom feeders that haven’t evolved since the Paleozoic era and other delicacies, so patrons can see how fresh the food is.

We ate there anyway.

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