Monday, August 4, 2008

China Syndrome

One of our esteemed colleagues at B.C. Canada Pavilion coined a phrase for the common reaction of Westerner's delicate digestive systems to authentic Asian cuisine. The "China Syndrome" is a reality I've been dealing with for about 36 hours.

Not sure whether it was the spicy chicken lunch on day three, or accidentally rinsing teeth (after brushing -- dental health is very important, especially at the Olympics) with non-potable tap water on day four, but whatever it was, I've been running to Beijing's men's rooms with more frequency than should be described on a blog! Definitely a "serious condition" much like the great film with Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda.

The food here has actually been quite good on a consistent basis. My Edelman Vancouver colleague Paul Welsh and our B.C. contact Julie took me up the road to the "night market" where we spotted some curious culinary delights I had last seen in Bangkok. Starfish anyone? How about some caterpillar larvae (skewered for your dining pleasure)? The photos and video don't convey the smells of the market, which range from strolling past Krispy Kreme and/or stepping into the meat truck in the outstanding film "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" (high on the EWWWW meter).

Best meal hands down was takeout we ordered at the pavilion on Sunday (see photo with egg). Just the right kick of chili spices. I may have to stick with that restaurant after the China Syndrome at last subsides.

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