Price surprise and the internet surprise

I have come to the conclusion that there is just too many blogs, and among them, food blogs. Not criticizing the empowerment of the masses to publish. It’s that I’m learning now that “equality” of opportunity to be heard also quickly goes full circle and that only those with the means can be heard above the din. Witness the plethora of offered to improve your web search ranking, for a fee.

So, what has happened? It has just been a short term shift from “freedom” (which applies to the minority with the knowledge) from the money rich to the technical rich (some which were not the top money strata, but non were really at the bottom either). Mooney always win in the end. And we have seen how money buys the best (almost best) web development and promotion skills.

So, like out or not we are back where we started, in terms of the classes within society. Animal Farm.

Oh, back to the title of this blog. Yesterday I was really surprised that I could have a meal for all of 4 ringgit. Which in todays exchange rate is about US$1. It snot a charity establishment as well. Just one of these new meal chains that cater to the less well heeled office worker in town. IO must admit though, that at my age, my food needs are modest. Still, you can take as much hot soup (the watery Chinese type, not the starchy type), chinese tea, water (yes, most places charge you for this nowadays), four ringgit!

Mixed rice

Chap fun – or mixed rice

Food price and quality varies a lot in tourist places and residential places

I was in the famous Nanjing Lu yesterday. Went for dinner in a smallish and not so expensive looking restaurant just off the main glitzy area. Had the jiao Ji and a small soup. Barely edible meal. Around 70RMB. (No, I didn’t take any picture of it). Contrast to todays early lunch in the suburbs, (still on the metro line). 28RMB and you see what I mean. Guess I cant complain, as worldwide that’s what the situation is.

China lunch of fish and tofu

Whom the Gods wish to destroy…

They first make proud.

Qingdao, China, at a fishing village, where the pigs were sacrificed as part of some post winter, going to sea ceremony. Now more of a tourist event.

You can figure out for yourself what the stuff on the poor pigs back are.

Sacrificial pig all prettied

The Gods must be upset or maybe amused

Firstly i have to state upfront that the name is just poetic license. The idea of “Gods” is not quite correct in the translation. But another place for this convoluted discussion of “religion”.

What I wanted to show, was the very new and sometimes cartoony figurines, when you compare them to the older statutes and figurines you find in homes in south-east asia. Nobody believes in the Gods anymore in China. Not in the cities anyway. Though I must admit, I think seafaring people and those who love dangerous lives will have some kind of belief that helps them takes the risks.

Modern versions of old Chinese “Gods”

Snails snails snails popular food all over the world near seasides.

I never got to try the snails in my childhood days. Only after my long stay in England where i got the fetish (as some would call eating snails) for eating welks, popular among London eat Enders. Also fast disappearing.

Welks are bigger. I never had the patience to retrieve the little bit of meat from one of these tiny shells. You make a hole at the top of the shell to let the air in, and that lets you suck the meat out.

Snails as food

Perception and truth are seldom the same thing

One theme that runs through all of the training I do, is that what you see is almost never what it is. It is not that you are completely mistaken in what you see, and thus base your work upon. Rather, it is that you ought to obtain more points of view not necessarily from others, before you act upon the information.

We all know the phenomenon of a person changing his mind soon after he has articulated a set of business requirements that he wants to be automated. It is nothing new, and nothing to be considered unusual. It is just the way the human mind works. Therefore, make the effort to achieve different viewpoints before you decide what the “real” requirements and the real background are.

The pictures show the model of the Olympic torch in QingDao China taken from different angles. One is a straightforward cylinder, while another shows a double barrel shape.

Perception - a point of viewPerception - one point of view 1

No more cheap lunch, but if you look hard enough…

Inflation seems to be marching relentlessly all over the world. China is no exception. Each year, I have to reconsider my budget for my travels in China. So, I was thrilled to find this place in a mall, that could give me a meal for 12 Rmb. I think there must be cheaper meals around, but not in a mall.

The quantity may look small, but that was exactly what I needed for my lunch. Too much would have given me bloat. 4 dumplings (again a difficult thing to translate). I did ask for and got two different types of dumplings.

4 dumplingsPorridge of local grain2 types of fillings dumplings The full set of the 12rmb lunch. Dumplings and soup

Rice wine trying to go upmarket or tourist trap?

My favorite tipple is rice wine, or more exactly, glutinous rice wine. This is the traditional wines brewed by us southerners, and an essential part of childbirth. (No, we don’t bath the newborn baby in the wine. It is the the base fir the chicken soup given to help the new mother warm up and rebuild her health. Perhaps it was intended to bribe ladies to have more children – but this is just pure guessing and has no basis). Definitely not the same as the distilled firewater baijiu (not from rice, but usually sorghum) popular in China now.

Sad, rice wine has not taken off in the modern world. Maybe it’s because its so easy to make at home the commercial producers don’t make enough.

By the way, the thing on the left of the picture is chicken feet – a very popular snack.

Chicken feet snack and rice wine