Saturday, February 24, 2007

Tigers and Bears and Grasshoppers?, oh no!

Hi! Part of the reason I've been absent from the blog for the past month is that I had a business trip in Thailand. The conference itself was for a week (and exhuasting, but that's another story)... but I tend to crave a bit of adventure in my life. So I decided to travel by land to get there! Maybe I'll tell ya some stories later about that.....But now onto the grasshoppers!

No sense in waffling about things, let me tell it straight. People eat some stuff in Asia that most of us in the west would consider pretty weird. Most of ya from my home town would say disgusting. Well, I like to try new things, so.... Please pass the grasshopper!

(crunch, crunch, anyone got some chai to go with this?)

Okay, the picture quality is pretty bad....So let's look at the before shot:

How did it taste? Kinda crispy! The smaller ones were okay, but the big ol' man eating size was a bit much for me.... What's the overall verdict? Well, I think I can say in all honesty that it's not going to become a favorite snack for me... :)

And no, I didn't try the silk worms that you see next to the grasshoppers. You've got to draw the line somewhere, right?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy New Year (again)

Xin Nian Kuai Le! That's right, for us foreigners in China we are privileged to be able to celebrate two New Years!! Here we observe the Lunar New Year! :)

And let me tell you something.... Although it's a little bit of comparing pears and apples, I've got to say that even New York City would have trouble comparing with what goes on here for New Years. Fireworks GALORE! Yep, seeming unending amounts of exploding loud colorful pyrotechnics - it is not just a site to be seen, it is a complete experience. They've been going on for quite awhile already, but it began to culminate at 11:45pm - the noise and colors became constant with no breaks in between. This went on for about 45 minutes, dying down only by small amounts thereafter.

It sounded like a warzone. Really. I'm not the expert that Scott is (buddy of mine in the military) but I've experienced a bit when I was involved in humanitarian work in Kosovo a couple of months after the war was 'officially' over. The second night there a bomber blew up a shop down the block from where I was staying. Things that sounded like gunfire were just that - gunfire. For New Years Y2k, gunfire errupted everywhere and the power went off. A bunch of years later I visited some friends in Pakistan. Atleast it was Pakistan on the Pakistani maps....yeah, I was in Kashmir. Every day you could hear the artillery booming from over the mountain...

Where was I?

Oh yes, so it really did sound alot like a warzone. Different rhythm to the 'gunfire', and it was missing the faint 'zing' that the barrel makes, but all in all pretty close. And I've got a confession to make. It makes me really nervous and anxious. I associate sounds like those with guns being fired at people, not celebration. I think I slept between about 2am and 6am when it died down. But at 6am people were up and going again! :) Should go on for about a week or so.

I haven't posted for a week because I made a trip to Thailand - by land! It was great and I've got alot of photos to share too. Look for much more coming SOON!

Let me offer you a photo I took here in Kunming as a peace offering......: