Mmmmmmm Squirrel September 2000

A full stomach is usually a traveler’s delight but mealtime can often be an unexpected adventure. I was reminded about that recently in Jienyang, China when asking my host for the soup’s ingredients. After a frantic search for a dictionary we found “S-Q-U-I-R-R-E-L!” Hmmmm… I guess that I won’t be adding that recipe to the family cookbook!

While I was down there in Southern China, I stopped to see my friend Frank Tsai. He had been to Beijing for the first time a few weeks before and was wondering through the back streets.

He was hungry and although the neighborhood was not good he finally ducked into a rather grotty noodle shop for lunch. He ordered a bowl of noodle soup from the disheveled waiter – minutes later the soup came but Frank was shocked to see that the waiter’s thumb was submerged in the soup all the way down to the knuckle. “My God,” he gasped, “your thumb is in the soup!!” “Oh, never mind,” replied the waiter, “it’s not very hot anyway.” Frank swears it was a true story.

Richard Keldsen
San Francisco
September 2000