Travel memories: Beijing, 2003

One of our co-travelers, Mrs. Sy, had a niece who was married to a Beijing native.  They were a wonderful couple who regaled us with all sorts of stories that we couldn’t understand.  Nevertheless, we all kept on bowing, smiling, and laughing.  They asked the entire group out to lunch.

They brought us to a nice restaurant with several private rooms which seemed to be the neighborhood favorite.  The Chinese food was of the best quality and absolutely wonderful!!!  It was my first great Chinese meal outside Hong Kong.

Expectedly, as I ate too much, I needed to go to the bathroom…

On the way to the bathrooms, which were adjacent to the kitchens, the red carpet expectedly got greasier and muddier.  A waitress hurried out of the kitchen with a tray full of lacquered chopsticks, big silverplated spoons, and porcelain soup spoons and slipped in the corridor, spilling all the  tableware on to the dirty, nay filthy, carpet.  The waitress promptly picked them all up quickly and proceeded to a nearby round table which was being prepared for another round of guests.  As if nothing had happened, she set the table with the soiled tableware!!!

EEEKKK…

OMG.  My stomach almost turned.

Oh well, I consoled myself with the fact that it was all “organic”… bacteria, viruses, SARS [ H1N1 wasn’t identified yet ], etc. notwithstanding.

Hahahah…   😛   😛   😛

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8 Comments

  1. Myles Garcia said,

    January 20, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    well, ya know…the host the so-called devout ‘Catholics’ imbibe in Sunday-in and Sunday-out…are touched by the priest and/or all his assistants. And then drinking wine from a common goblet…

    Of course, all that is done in the house of God…but in terms of health regulations, all the churches would be in violation unless mag-guantes iyong mga pare!!

  2. Noni Agulto said,

    January 14, 2010 at 9:59 am

    naku…it happens everywhere…. in 2006, I was with the Philippine Trade Delegation for the APEC summit (particularly the APEC economic forum) held in HaNoi. In one of the night trips, Kenneth Yap the commercial attache brought us around town, and we had a good meal of sticky rice with chicken and a good serving of duck noodle soup, and amusingly told us this story: ” last night, lumabas kami ni Mrs. Romul% at si Mrs. F@vil@ (wife of the secretary) to buy stuff…. nakakita kami ng roasted duck along the street so pinara ni Madame ang delegation van at bumaba kami….when we asked the street vendor kung magkano ang duck….kinuha nya ang kamay nya which was actually scratching his foot/toe and gladly picked up the duck to show us….” well binili pa din nila kasi sabi nga ni Mrs. Romul%, that’s what makes it special….. hahahahaha…at least di sya maselan! hehehehe

  3. Jules B. Vergel de Dios said,

    January 12, 2010 at 4:53 am

    But who doesn’t enjoy
    Chinese Cuisine?
    Personally,
    not to as far as eating up
    Fresh throbbing Monkey Brain
    like a Sashimi…

    I’m happy seeing
    crew-friends at Gloria Maris Gateway

    or slurping Shark’s Fin Soup
    made by Josephine Yu Tanganco-Candelaria
    of Manila Hotel

    or Panda Express across the Americas…

    Enjoy chowing!

    xOxO

  4. Jules B. Vergel de Dios said,

    January 12, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Hey guys,
    this is funny:

    Newborn Chinese names:
    Born secretly: TINA GO
    Born Swindled: LINO CO
    Born without light: ANDY LIM
    Born Fat: BOB UY
    Born different: EVA YAN
    Born blind: KENNETH SY

    xOxO

  5. Paz Atienza said,

    January 9, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    One unforgettable trip to HK never escapes my memory to this day. It happened in the early 80’s. My mom and I decided to join friends for a 4-day break, and the first thing we did as a group was to go to an authentic Chinese restaurant and have some dimsum. We were just too excited to eat and one of my mom’s amigas suggested a really good restaurant where she said that the dimsum was superb and one which we would surely enjoy.

    We climbed 3 flights of stairs to get a space in the overly crowded HK resto — the name escapes me now. Dimsum was served in carts pushed by natives who were shouting in loud voices trying to peddle their goodies which were placed in bamboo containers. Since there were a number of them, my mom’s friend said, we had all the time to choose which ones we liked. And just when I was about to choose, the lady pushing the dimsum cart suddenly picked her teeth with her pinky and later picked her nose! I wanted to throw up when I saw what she was doing and immediately motioned to my mom’s friends that we were leaving. No explanations until we reached the ground floor.

    When we got to the street, that’s when I told them what I saw. Everyone joked that they would clobber the one who made the wise suggestion. In the end, we ended up eating burgers at a nearby McDonald’s restaurant.

  6. Joel Cruz said,

    January 9, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Friends in the hospitality industry have told me how they formed the core training group of Beijing 5-star hotels back in the 80s. The local staff knew nothing from brushing their teeth to setting serving spoons. In a simple word, “Kadiri.” We Filipinos may be poor but we have the civility to take a bath and brush our teeth! A foreigner friend once commented how improper it is that informal settlers take a bath by the estero or Manila Bay. I say, at least they’re taking a bath…

  7. Presy Guevara said,

    January 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    2003 it was that you had this lasting impression! All kinds of e-mail reach us enough to distrust Chinese food including the imported and locally prepared ones. And although Snopes bunk some of them, the graphic photographs etch deeply in the memory bank.

  8. Myles Garcia said,

    January 8, 2010 at 6:59 am

    So this was in training for the great Olympic show five years later?

    Are/were they filching the bats/birds in the upper reaches of the great Birds Nest Stadium for their “nido” soup as well?


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