Friday, February 27, 2004

I've been going across the street from the store every day to get lunch at a take-out place, not a bad deal, $3.95 for a lunch special of three entrees and a soup, with rice. I usually skip lunches in Beijing, not because of dieting -- all the client lunches and dinners are hard on the digestive system -- after the third Mongolian hot pot of the week, not eating seems like a relief. Now that I'm no longer white-collar, I've gotten my appetite back... better watch out for the "American 15." I call the weight gain every new immigrant seems to go through the "American 15," like the "Freshman 15" (thank god for TOEFL's English phrases review book, I know all the cliches Americans know!). Only instead of fattening up on dining hall food, we get rounder and more American thanks to more deep-fried Chinese-American fare. Like today's lunch, deep-fried tofu, broccoli & beef stir-fry, and a cornstarch-laden chow fen too. I hope the chefs who work at these Szechuan/Cantonese/Shanghainese restaurants know that they're ruining the reputation of Chinese food irrevocably. Twenty years from now, even "authentic" Chinese people like me would forget that Chinese food is about more than spring rolls and moo goo gai pan (a dish I've never heard of in China).


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