“I don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip”
“What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn’t he?”
“I wouldn’t count on it”
If there was a medically approved scale of food consumption, I’d fall somewhere between diabetic and hobbit. I plan my days around my eating schedule. If I don’t have a snack in my bag there will be a small fluttering in my stomach which is in no way related to a physiological need for sustenance and more a psychological need for reassurance. The kind that only a sugary mint imperial can satiate. With that in mind, food plays a big part of my life in China. It’s been fun uncovering unlikely nibbles, discovering oriental snacks and tasting foreign dishes. I won’t dwell on the cake situation, as this has already been covered here and I’ve come a long way towards making peace with that. However, where the British do cakes exceedingly well, China does pretty much everything else to absolute perfection. Socialising, drinking, business deals, first dates, family relationships, sometimes it feels like everything revolves around food. Certainly my life revolves around food in a way it doesn’t at home. True, I havent become the soft-edged Renoir you see today by subsisting on lettuce leaves for 24 years. But in China, food and drink have taken on a whole new significance. To me now, food is about discovery, about bravery, about meeting new people, about careful planning and budgeting, about creation and failure, least of all mastering new vocabulary.
Seeing as food is such a big part of my life I thought I’d do a little mini-series devoted to it. (Look out for updates in the ‘Food’ category >>>). As is custom for most new things I try, it will probably only be short lived. But if I can make even a microscopic impact on the world’s knowledge of the increasing prevalence of Korean BBQ restaurants in Harbin then I’ll have achieved what I set out to.