Posted by: Rebecca | March 13, 2012

Chinese beer and a damn good feed

If you’ve never travelled alone, you absolutely should. This is something I wish I’d done years ago. If I was with someone else right now, I’d be more inclined to confer about things… “shall we do this?” “should we do that?” which just opens the door for the answer “no”. Being on my own is admittedly more risky, but I reckon with common sense, you can be just as safe alone as you would if you were with someone else. But you’re perhaps more inclined to have a go, give things a try, follow your feet and stumble across exactly what you’d hoped to find. (Not sure I’d have had the balls or belief to do this until I saw someone else I know had – thanks, you know who you are.)

***

This is just amazing. I’ve wandered out to explore, find a beer and something to eat. Plenty of brightly-lit places, lots of restaurants… call me stereotypical, but I wanted to find somewhere which looked less ‘Health & Safety and napkins’ and more ‘take it as you find it’ (this is particularly tricky, given that usually, when I see somewhere with Chinese-looking writing outside, it means it sells food of an Asian variety… clearly, of course, here it could be a bank, a cobblers, a furniture shop…

***

I’ve found it! This place is brilliant; side street / alley, cooking on the street, I’m sitting on a beer crate, with a laminated menu on the neoprene table I front of me, and a menu I understand! (This has been an issue – I’ve been wandering around for about an hour, but all the places I wanted to try had just Chinese menus. The only ones which had English translations looked too formal for my liking – reversed migration, the owners were probably from Ealing Broadway…) So I grab a beer crate, plonk myself down, try desperately (badly) not to look too much like a tourist, and wait for madam to rush over and see what I want. I’ve ordered. Singapore style noodle (singular?!) and a beer. $63HKD (about £6). Bargain.

***

Here we go, the pros have arrived, and watching what they do is an education. There’s a small dish, a Chinese spoon and a set of chopsticks (yay!) in front of me. The locals on the next table (I say ‘locals’ purely because they look like they know what they’re doing…) just had a metal teapot of hot water land on their table (upturned oil drum), the guy fills their two little dishes with hot water (I’m thinking they’re having tea?…) and pours the water over the spoon (to warm it? My dad hates cold crockery…) then chucks the water into the street? I get it, he’s cleaning the crockery before they eat, right? Simple, obvious, but I’d never have done that. Always learning…

***

Haha chef’s cooking with a fag hanging out of his mouth, brilliant! (Do I pay extra for a dash of ash?…) Clarkson would just love this!

***

My food’s arrived… *Swearing profoundly but in a good way* Singapore noodle, amazing. Nuff said.

Right, hotel time, I’m meant to be trying to get into Melbourne time (3 hours ahead of here) but I’m having too much fun! Should head back and hit the sack – lots to cram in tomorrow. Will try to do a single update tomorrow night (a la this style) rather than bombard everyone with blog updates!

ttfn /Boxy xx


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