Air China is always late!
Myself, Mom and Queenie left for Beijing on 31 July 2010. I had to go to the Beijing office on business and since mom was around decided to drag them along. We had originally booked Eva airlines that left early on a Saturday morning and came back late the following Sunday. Unfortunately they cancelled the flight so we had to change to Air China. The departure time was meant to be at 1:00pm on Saturday and return at 8:35am the following Sunday. The flight was delayed without reason. A frequent Air China flier then informed us that they are always late. The kicker was they gave us each a meal voucher valued at NTD180. That couldn’t even buy a Burger King meal (Burger King in the airport is more expensive). We finally got off the ground at around 4:00pm and landed in Beijing at 7:00pm and checked into the Landmark Hotel at 7:30pm. Only a three hour delay but we lost all the daylight in Beijing. That is life.
Exploded Chicken, Broken Tooth
There is no such thing as carved poultry in Chinese Cuisine it seems (except maybe for Beijing Duck). Most of the poultry seems to be “exploded” chicken, duck, turkey etc. The reason they seem exploded is that instead of carving the poultry the chefs hack it with a meat cleaver with bones and flesh mixed together. Anyway, after arriving in Beijing Queenie selected a restaurant from her guide book and off we went. Of course we ordered some chicken. I selected a slice of chicken that I thought was boneless and tested it as much as possible to see if there were bones. And then I took that fatal bite! I felt the small piece of bone cracking into my tooth and felt an incredible surge of pain. Realizing what had happened I quickly spat out the bone but alas, it was too late. Soon after spitting out the bone I spat out the part of my tooth that had broken off.
“Beijing you bitch,” was my response.
The result of my first dinner! One week of chewing on one side of my mouth, a visit to the dentist in Taiwan and the need for an NTD8,000 cap on the said broken tooth, which will take three weeks to get. At least I now have a temporary cap and can eat on both sides of my mouth.
After leaving the restaurant we went for a walk around the neighborhood and came accross our first Dog Meat Restaurant. Yes, dog cuisine is still alive and well in China.
Naked Swimmer, Expensive Lake
After dinner we were in the mood for a little life. So Queenie, Mom, me and my half tooth headed off to Hou Hai Lake. This was a happening place! People danced in the square in front of the lake, music was blasting out of the riverside bars, people were fishing in the lake and others were swimming. We took a casual stroll around the lake and stopped to talk to one of the swimmers in the lake. After chatting with him for about a second we realized he was completely naked. Good thing it was night and he was in the water. We just wanted to know if it was safe to swim (and perhaps go for a dip ourselves). We decided against it. We strolled around the lake, I was offered girls in a bar but they didn’t want Queenie or mom to come. Eventually we landed up in a quiet bar, drank some lemon tea and had a plate of fruit. We thought Hou Hai was expensive. On Day 2 we went there for some snacks and some drinks, it came to RMB500 (NTD2,000) and the food was crap and the drink small and disgusting. We will never eat or drink there again.
Don’t worry, despite the late plane, the broken tooth and the disgustingly expensive food at Hou Hai, we had a blast on the first day (that is said without Sarcasm) and the whole trip to Beijing was amazing. We were glad to have the opportunity to take mom along for the ride.