"Pessimist" is a silly word "Optimists" use for "Realist".
"Optimist" is a polite word that "Realists" use for "Delusional".
-Some people want fame. Some people want fortune. Me? I like sandwiches.
-Of all the strategems, to know when to quit is best.
-One cannot refuse to eat merely due to the chance of being choked.
-A gem is not polished without rubbing, nor a sword hardened without tempering, so neither is a man perfected without trials.
-It is better to do a good deed near your home than to go far away to burn incense.
-Patience in a moment of anger allows you to escape 100 days of sorrow.
-He who sacrifices his conscience to ambition burns a picture to obtain the ashes.
-A wise man makes his own decisions, a fool follows the public opinion.
-A single conversation with one who is wise is worth a month's study of books.
-The one who pursues revenge should dig two graves.
-A truly great man never puts aside the simplicity of a child.
-- Today's news post comes to us from 8-bit reader Herb because I enjoy tales that involve the strangely antagonistic peoples of the East. Theirs is a casual cruelty that is hilarious to witness via anecdote.
"I just read that you have had the absolute worst Chinese cuisine in your life. I have Incredibly Good News for you, but it requires a brief background.
I live in Shenzhen, China, where I work as an English teacher. It's not the worst of jobs (I could be a grad student), but there are certain things about it that leave much to the imagination. One of those things is the food.
From your description, I would hazard a guess--nay, I would reassure you!--that you have now tasted true Chinese food. It is the most vile of things, which the Chinese, bless their damned little heathen hearts (I've lived with them for a year, I should know), which the Chinese actually expect you to eat. Joyously. And if you do not desire another (read: fourth) serving of the rancid week-old fish, staring out at you with its decaying white eyes from a pool of muddy brown, indiscernible liquid? "What is wrong? Don't you like Chinese food?"
Never answer this. Change the subject. Trust me, answering only leads to them piling more on your plate. If you say yes, they pile on more. If you say no, they pile more on your plate. If you hesitate, they assume this means you don't have adequate experience with the true variety of food-poisoning that they call "food", and they pile more on your plate. Your absolute best reply is, without a fraction of a second of hesitation, "I saw a beggar today in the big shopping area (in my case, DongMen), and I decided to kick him in the groin and steal all of his money." They will compliment you on your creative way of earning income, then caution you that said stolen money is likely "fake." Which of course it is. But that has nothing to do with food.
Another favorite in this land of "culture" is to serve a piece of bone, and inch in diameter, surrounded by the barest scrap of meat. You are supposed to put this inch-long "morsel" in your mouth, chew around the bone, and then spit the bone out onto your plate, piling them up like some little bone cabin for the Indian in your cupboard to inhabit. If you are lucky, it will be cow vertebra, or possibly pig knuckle. If you are not, may God have mercy on your soul. I mean that. Your very soul.
Oh! And if by some chance you do happen across a piece of meat, likely fried, that looks as though it is finger-bone-free, it is because this is not meat, but rather is fried fat. They sell it on street corners, usually. For about 2 kuai, or US$0.25. Which is more than it's worth.
Do you like Dumplings? You won't, after the first time you find a fish bone has crept into it. What was a fish bone doing in my pork and celery dumpling? I never learned.
Speaking of Pork, that reddish stuff that they top the (Western) bread with? That would be pork skin shavings. Sometimes, still with hair. Should you decide Chinese "bread" is safer, know now that they do not cook it.
They have a game that they like to play with foreigners (called either "WaiGuoRen" or "LaoWai" here: Meaning, respectively, "Outsider" and, essentially, "Person from another culture that we've been told is equal to our own but which everybody knows is in fact lower than dirt." Seriously, next time you see a Chinese person, call them LaoWai (Wai is pronounced like Why). See how they react.). The game revolves around their alcohol, called Baijiu (Bai like Buy, Jiu like Joe), which is White Alcohol. Made from rice, it has like a 70% alcohol content. Which would be fine, were it not for the game.
The game is played like so. You sit down in a restaurant. Some other, Chinese, person sees you, and says "Wow! I've never seen a LaoWai before! I will buy him a shot! He will drink it with me!" So they buy you a shot. And you drink it with them. If you say "No, I have a medical condition called "I drank too much in college and now don't have a liver anymore"," they will spit in your food. Or possibly your tea. So you drink with them.
All 100 people in the restaurant. Individually. One shot each. And every time is a GanBei ("Empty your Glass, Motherfucking Foreigner!"). By the time this game ends, you are legally dead. Which would be okay, if BaiJiu didn't literally taste like skunk piss going down.
I could go on forever, but if I did, you would never eat again. So let me finally get around to the Incredibly Good News I promised you at the beginning of this email, and which has nothing to do with your personal Lord and Savior, Jesus.
Right now, you can go to any one of a million different restaurants that serve NOT Chinese food.
And I cannot.