Memories True to Roads Anew: Skewers


Beijing does 1 thing better than anywhere else I’ve been to: skewers.

I had just entered the city and it was 1 AM. I dropped off my single bag, played with the Michael’s cat (my Airbnb host), and went off to find food.

I found it next to a polluted canal. Skewers full of meat everywhere. In that moment, I realized why Chinese restaurants have lacquered tables: makes it easy to clean up the bones people spit onto them. the floor was completely filthy, and the food smelled good.

I ordered a bunch of lamb with cumin, and random animal organs. I don’t think the owner knew what to make of an Indian kid ordering lamb kidneys in Chinese, but maybe he’d seen odder sights.

Coke really is the flavor of refreshment, cause god knows I was thirsty.

A couple of kids approached me, and asked if I’d be willing to eat a grasshopper. One of them admitted that they had a bet about if I could do it or not.

Sure thing kid, more food for me.

Much to their surprise I finished an entire skewer and asked them for 3 more. Grasshopper doesn’t have much flavor, just texture. And that texture is crunchy. Grasshoppers taste like the flavor embodiment of the sensation of crunch.

I decided to hang out with one of them the next day, and headed out.

The guy at the door stopped me and tried to tell me something, but my Chinese only went so far. He pulled out his phone and translated:

Be safe at night. Watch out for thieves.

I still remember him. And with a smile, I went to take a midnight walk.

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