July 1, 2009. Hottest Day Yet.

Yesterday (July 1, I sometimes get lost in my stories as the day and times change) my thermometer registered 91 on my balcony in the morning at 08:00. I don’t know how high the temperature got, but it was very, very hot.

Spent a cool hour or so in the library then walked home. It was so unpleasant I decided to go home and stay in the rest of the day inside with the air conditioner running. On the walk home I stopped for an early dinner at a place I had been several times before and always liked. It had a picture menu and low prices. Since it was early, there weren’t many people there. I was able to get a seat right in front of the air conditioner.

I picked a dish that looked like a stir fried meat with green and red peppers. It was 30 yuan (about $4.50 USD). I also ordered a beer with ice for a little under $1.00 USD. When they brought it out, it smelled and looked great. But what it was, was something I could not recognize. The dish had green and red peppers, also garlic and onions. But the “meat,” if it was meat, was something I had never seen before. It was translucent, cut into bite size pieces and was served with a brown sauce. It is difficult to describe since I know nothing I can compare it to.

Actually I doubt it was meat, it had no grain. It might have been cartilage, fat or perhaps even bone. Whatever it was, it had been treated in some way to change its appearance and texture. It was something that definitely did not exist in nature. The Chinese blue eggs have been treated with something that makes the whites turn blue and gelatinous. I suspect whatever this was had been treated similarly.

Anyway, I tried a small piece, and it wasn’t bad tasting. Its flavor came from the sauce and veggies. It did not have a discernable taste of its own. But I was put off by the texture, which was tough and rubbery. Some pieces had what appeared to be tendon attached to them, making them even harder to chew and swallow. I ate three or four small pieces before calling it quits.

I had my camera in my pocket, but I forgot to take a pic. Too bad, because I’ll never get another chance since I’ll never order it again.

I picked out the peppers, garlic and onions and left the rest. I stopped at “old reliable,” the noodle shop across from my building, and had a plate of freshly pulled noodles and veggies for dinner. Then I went home and practiced chess and read books for the rest of the evening.

For half a second I considered going for my laps in the park, but when I stepped out on my balcony and quickly changed my mind. Later I regretted not going. A good sweat followed by a long shower always feels good and relaxing. There is always tomorrow…

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About Charles Kirtley

Have been living in SE Asia and China since 2007. I have an opinion on most every subject, and don't mind sharing them. Lover and collector of worthless facts.
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