Do I Dare to Eat a Peach?

I’m pretty sure J.  Alfred Prufrock was visiting China as he thought this….especially if he were with his totally-gone-native daughter, who thought nothing of buying bags of fruit at bus stops and rinsing them with a hose before consuming them.  I did my best to hold back…..

Before leaving for  China, we were strictly warned against eating.  I mean, we were cautioned to eat only foods that were cooked thoroughly, “piping hot” when we received them, and served in a restaurant or home.  Raw foods that could not be peeled were out of the question; street food was potentially toxic.  Thinking back to my two previous trips to Hong Kong, and remembering how I got sick both times (once from street food, for sure, and the other time – who knows?) I resolved to stick to that advice even if I missed out on some wonderful cultural experiences.  With that in mind, I arrived in China lugging instant oatmeal, Clif bars, and trail mix.  Between all that and rice/crackers/peanut butter/bananas, I figured, I’d be fine.  (We never did find peanut butter.)

My husband and his brother, though, were both more intrepid and hungrier than I was.  Here they are on our second day in China, already breakfasting on street food outside the Kunming East Bus Station.

That's some kind of shredded potato/fried egg thing in a tortilla-type wrapper.

UD and PM also ate at an open-air kitchen along the Cangshan Mountain path above Dali:

I ate a Clif Bar.

I did eat bowdze, steamed buns either plain or filled.  These  spicy potatoes and onions in the center.  We couldn’t always find vegetarian ones, especially up in the Tibet region.

Shaxi market, Yunnan Province

The first crack in my armor came in Shaxi, where we stayed at Horsepen 46, a wonderful guesthouse/hostel.  The owner and longtime guests regularly prepare dinner, and someone had prepared a salad.  The greens had been washed with boiled water, or spring water, but they were raw, right?  Encouraged to believe that this would be the safest place to try such a daring adventure, I ate the delicious salad and was totally fine.

One reason I caved was that there was a lot of meat, so I wanted to eat more than rice and some vegetables...

At the Shaxi market, they had some mangosteens imported from Burma.  I had never tried them, and always wanted to……

I washed them and a mango in boiled water…

And PM showed me how to peel them.  Delicious!

Horsepen 46, Shaxi, Yunnan Province

Some street food seemed sorta safe, and I did consume things that were submerged in hot oil….

Fried potato stand, Shangri-La, Yunnan Province

Once I decided to eat a bit more adventurously, I did eat one type of raw dish more than any other.  It was a cold cucumber salad, liberally doused with vinegar and hot pepper.

Dumplings, peanut salad, cucumber salad. Shangri-la, Yunnan Province.

I ate it in several establishments, and eventually did get sick.  But I can’t be sure it was the salad…. it could have been that peach.

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6 Responses to Do I Dare to Eat a Peach?

  1. ibuibulai says:

    You’re so cute mom.

  2. I always try to leave a comment and they always disappear. Here I go again: I’ve been enjoying your China stories — great photos and commentary on what must have been an amazing trip. Tell PM I like her long hair!

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