Little did I know that I had nothing to be scared of. Everything was okay. My tummy was perfect the whole time. (Leading me to wonder what exactly is hiding in American food.) Next time (as in two weeks from now) I'll have a little faith. And the fact that I was a vegetarian posed no problem for me, but I felt bad because in China, when a group goes out to dinner, I guess it's customary for the food eaten to be enjoyed by all. So the entire table ate vegetarian food (with a little local seafood I consented to) the entire time. At one dinner I went to, one of our business partners kept ordering little bowls of rice because he was still hungry from not eating any meat! I'm not used to people being so considerate.
I was super appreciative of their consideration, especially at one restaurant where the menu included Seahorses, Turtles, Pigeons, Worms, Snakes, Eels, Alligators, Whole Roast Pigs, Sea Cucumber, Rabbit, Shark's Fin Steak, Beetles, various Hearts, Lungs, Brains and Entrails on skewers, and whole Ducks and Chickens. You might not think duck or chicken is scary, but everything on the menu was served with the head and feet, essentially whole, as a sign of the freshness of the item, and yes, the menu had pictures. Glossy, big and bright pictures. I'm not sure I'll ever get cooked Seahorse and Turtle out of my mind.
So yes, in case you're wondering, I'm still a vegetarian. And you would have been too, had you been with me!
Here's what I ate in China over the last week. (Note some of the food pictured was not eaten by me but ordered by my table, I bet you'll be able to guess what's what.)
First, I had to have one last meal. You know what I'm talking about:
The first and second airplane meal and requisite snack of drugs and tea:
The first meal I had in China; Tofu with Veggies:
Hong Kong-style Boba tea:
The coolest tea pot I'd ever seen with rice tea, which sold for over $650 RMB per bag, that's over $100 USD:
Dinner at the #2 Vegetarian restaurant in Shanghai (the #1 Vegetarian Restaurant was closed for remodel):
A quick snack of Vega bar!
Back to the same lunch restaurant where we ate the first day:
China Starbucks case:
And a Starbucks fruit cup for breakfast:
Sushi in Shanghai...#1 Sushi restaurant in the city!
A trip to a restaurant that served nothing but mango dessert! I got the pudding with extra mango:
Dinner at the hotel restaurant; Fried Tofu with Dipping Sauce:
Coffee at the airport:
Airplane meal on a local China airlines (and that's Coconut Juice, in case you're wondering, not milk. Coconut juice tasted like 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 coconut water to me. Super tasty. Then I had Mulberry Juice!):
Last meal in China, Mushroom Risotto:
First meal when I got home? Take a wild guess...