Thursday, January 29, 2004

Odds and Sods
A friend in Boulder e-mailed me and mentioned that it was "Donut Day" at her office. I suddenly realized haven't even seen or smelled a doughnut for months and between salivating like a rabid wolverine at the memory of a glazed Winchells, it also occured to me that while we don't have "Donut Day" at the Shenzhen Daily we do have random food days based on whatever hometown a colleague has happened to travel to. They return loaded with a bag or two of the local snack and junk foods and because Chinese cuisine is so diverse - for instance someone from Hunan might prefer their civet cat ovaries fried in oil, while a Shangdongite knows that only the offspring of a motherless street sweeper can stomach it when it's not boiled in mutton fat - it's always a surprise.
Mostly it's various candies and nuts but yesterday was "Exotically Flavored and Oddly Textured Dried Beef and Chicken Chunks in Packets From Some Province I Can't Pronounce Day". And the day before yesterday was "Tasteless Dry White Rectangle Thingies With the Consistency of a Dr. Scholl's Insole Day"....
Coworker Jennifer has a 6-year-old daughter whom I kinda adore and lavish some mindless attention on whenever she's in the office. Before our Lunar New Year break I gave Jennifer a little money in a red New Year packet ("Lucky Money" - traditionally given to children for Chinese New Year) to give her daughter and yesterday Jennifer came in the office with a spiffy, colorful picture her daughter had drawn for me. There's a house, flowers, a girl with hearts above her head, the sun and three flying creatures - one with an enormous smiling head - that I thought were butterflies.
"I love the butterflies," I told Jennifer.
She paused a minute, laughed a little self-consciously and said that she'd said the same thing but her daughter told her they weren't birds or butterflies. They are house flies.

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