Frog Soup (on a business trip somewhere in Henan province, China, 5/12/2009)

When you go to a restaurant in China, they will always push the specials on you. They push hard and they won’t take no for an answer. And when they tell your Chinese colleague that a special soup is “for ladies” then like any good man, he caves to the mysteries of woman-hood and feels compelled to order it for you. So it arrives and it looks like chicken broth with some kind of soft rice bits in it. It tastes OK.

“So what is in this” I ask.
“I’m not sure.” says my colleague.
“Is it meat or vegetable?”
“Neither.”
Neither. Hmmm. Really?
“Well…what do you consider meat?” asks my colleague.
“Uh…anything that comes from an animal?”
“OK – then it’s meat,” he says happily, able to answer my question at last.
“What animal?” I ask.
“Oh, frog,” he says.

I decline to find out what part of the frog looks like soft white grains of rice.

The funny part is, the next time we go to the restaurant he orders it for me again!!! Pretty shocked that he didn’t pick up on the nonverbals. It’s the small dish that looks like chicken broth with rice:

At this meal,it’s in the same small glass bowl in the lower right corner of the picture.





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