Snacking With Trimalchio

When I lived in Yantai, I believed I had been offered every bit of sealife imaginable. Like most theories I had about China, this turned out to be inaccurate.

I think the seahorses might have been a novelty item even for locals, but we saw three or four people chowing down on starfish kabobs.

It was almost a relief to see the usual squid bits and skewered organs.

I got these pictures at Wangfujing snack street tonight. Sadly, my admirer wasn’t there, or at least he didn’t call out his undying love to me. Maybe he ran away with Penglisha.

Stick and I had some fried dumplings, fried noodles that tasted like mall foodcourt lo mein (and I mean that in the most flattering way possible), Stick also got a pork bun, and we were looking for some fruit skewers to finish up our meal. Stick asked a vendor for a strawberry kebab.

“35,” he told us.

“What?!?” Stick asked.

“35,” the vendor said, pointing at a price list in Chinese. “See, it’s 35,”

Something didn’t look right on the sign… I knew those characters, but they didn’t mean strawberry… “No! That says one large bowl of fried noodles for 35!” I cried. I was half filled with pride that I’d read a whole line of text on  an actual sign, and half furious that he was trying to rip us off.

“Ok, ok, 30.” he said. Annoyed, we turned to the next vendor, who offered us 2 fruit skewers for 20. Free market in action.

This entry was posted in Yantai and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Snacking With Trimalchio

  1. Katie Rabbit says:

    It made me want to cry when I saw the starfish and seahorses…..eeewww poor little things!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I thought fried Twinkie was weird. I guess this starfish thing even tops that one.

  3. Elliott Ng says:

    You go girl! How disappointing that on such a touristy area like Wangfujing there is this kind of scamming going on, so close to the Olympics.

  4. Meg says:

    I think most of the other snackers thought seahorses were odd… much like we’d be looking at fried Twinkies or Turducken or other novelty food.

    Attempted ripoff (and probably sucessful ones that we haven’t caught!) is pretty commen. As for the Olympics, I’m pretty sure that a few foreign correspondants writing about “lost” cabbies and ripoff vendors will get it cleaned up for the rest of us! In the meantime, it’s extra motivation for me to work on my ChinesePod.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Meg,

    r u sure those are Chinese?
    I swear my grandma never ate those before!
    And I would not run away with other foxy Laowai and dump another.
    Not Chinese! It only happens to Chinese girls!:-)
    And if u don’t mind, eat some starfish for me:-)
    Jeez, it’s like travel channel now.
    But that’s the side of Beijing I want you to tour:-)

  6. Anonymous says:

    And what is your valentine’s day plan? a couple hotpot? or expensive roses that dry quickly in Beijing’s wind? or starfish stick?
    I heard Beijing people spend a night on the great wall on Chinese valentine July 07, but for the western schedule is like now, and you have to bring extra blankets there, it is really cold up there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *