I have a cock in my throat


Having set the clock one hour late we almost miss breakfast. We’re just in time to hook up with Elin, Sanna and Anna-Karin though and decide to go to Tiananmen Square first. Getting there we notice there are x-ray stations for bags at every entry point. It probably has something to do with the impending 60-years celebration held on this Thursday (Karina told us that last Thursday was some sort of rehearsal day for the celebration and that the _entire_ town had been shut down. Not a car or a person in sight!). We accidentally drift into the line of people going to to see Mao and get shooed away with shouts of “Bag!”, “Bag!” We mill about on the square for a bit before finally deciding to go see the old corpse.

There is a place across the road where you can store bags (no bags allowed in the mausoleum) so we do that and get in line. Entry to the mausoleum is free but bag storage cost 8 yuan I think. There is a booth where you can buy flowers but we don’t feel like honoring the bastard any more than necessary. Inside Mao lies in a glass box (inside a larger glass box with two guards) and you get to see his waxy profile as you walk by for 20 seconds. There’s no spending quality time with the man in other words.

Next on the menu is the Forbidden City (it’s forbidden because only the emperor and his staff had access). The place is absolutely huge and you get a bit bored after a while, highlights include the Emperor’s garden at the far end and the smaller houses along the side.

Feeling rather spent after three solid hours of watching epic history stuff we split up since it’s only me that’s going to the Kung Fu show later this afternoon (this was yet another optional scheduled event like the acrobatics show). So I head back to the hotel and since I’m short on time I find some vegetable dumpling/pirogue-thing in an alley behind the hotel.

This show was much more artistic than the last one and they did fewer really cool things. A flip-flop directly on the head (on a hard surface) was pretty nice though. Outside the sun had just gone down and we walk back toward the subway. Right next to the station is the famous Pearl Market (one of those places where they sell Nike and Puma knockoffs and every store is at most two square meters) so a bunch of us decide to head over there. Turns out that they close as early as 7 on weekends so Kerstin suggest we go to Donghuamen Night Snack Street, a place where you can get _really_ exotic foods…

We take the subway to the start of Wangfujing street which is a large, quite famous, American style shopping street. After a bit of walking we arrive at the snack market which is a row of stands, each one selling something nastier than the next. Luckily we are a few guys able to spur each other on and we start off feasting on a little sea snake. The texture is soft and spongy, but the taste is quite actually quite nice (all these things we ate were cooked in oil and seasoned before serving, so there’s probably not too much left of the real taste to be honest). Next up is some sort of crayfish; quite good, tasted like… crayfish really. Then the first really nasty thing: Silk worms, these guys are brown grubs about the size of a thumb each. The texture is like oatmeal with a crunchy exterior and the taste (seasoning really) is very nice.

Jacob find some oysters and we try those as well, they’re ruined by too much garlic though and not very nice. Somewhere in between we have some sheep’s testicles. The texture is weird and there’s something tangy about the taste. Other than that they’re pretty much like pork fillet. I also find some snake skin, but that’s probably the worst one of the lot. The texture if just too much and the taste isn’t nice either.

Peter finds scorpion and we try that as well. It’s quite good actually, but mostly shell and not much meat. There’s also sheep’s penis at the same stand and of course we have to try that one also. Really tough to chew but it’s not bad, one of the better ones actually. Toward the end there is a stand with water beetles, bee cocoons and centipede (the 30 cm kind). Jacob buys some bee cocoons and they’re pretty good, mostly crunchy. I get a centipede and water beetles. The centipede tastes like the outermost part of spare ribs, the beetles have an incredibly hard shell and have to be peeled before eating but are otherwise nice. We finish up with some shark meat in the very last stand (very good, but probably bad for you since it’s at the top of the food chain and has lots of accumulated poisons, it’s also somewhat endangered and we really should have skipped it). The lady claims that she has dog and cat meat as well but we don’t really believe her and leave it.

About to finish up for the evening we take a cab to Sanlitun, an area my friend Miro recommends with a bunch of nice bars. We sit down at “The Den” and have a beer. We also had a tip for finding some decadent pole dancing but couldn’t find it (turns out we had the wrong district, should have looked in Solana, near Chaoyang park for “Sex and da City”). We did find a Hooters though and popped in for an almost midnight snack. Not much of a place though, way too much makeup but a decent dessert.

That about sums the day up, we took a cab home after that (26 yuan for a 15 minute drive, cabs are ridiculously cheap in Beijing).

2 thoughts on “I have a cock in my throat

  1. Herregud vilken mat! Hur mår du egentligen efter dessa utsvävningar. Jag tycker det var modigt av dig att pröva alla dessa främmande “läckerheter”. Tacka vet jag pitepalt!/Mamma

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