I love Chinese food, I really do, but after a while (and 6 1/2 months definitely qualifies as "a while") it all kind of seems the same. Fried somethingorother with rice. Yummy fried somethingorother, but still. Sometimes I really crave Western food. There are a few places I can satisfy this hunger, but I'm limited. There are a couple a small cafes that serve burgers, pizza, and pasta; McDonald's if I'm desperate; and Pizza Hut if I'm feeling extravagant (it's really expensive compared to everywhere else, although still just normal Cdn prices).
But that's about the scope of the variety here. Not much. I spoke to my family today and found myself unreasonably jealous over their dinner at Taco Time. Mmmmmmmm, just saying or writing it makes my stomach rumble with longing. Tacos. Burritos. NACHOS!!! What I wouldn't do for a plate of gooey, cheesy nachos. But it's impossible. Nary a nacho chip in the city! I heard a rumour that you could buy nacho chips in Shanghai, for the steep price of about $7 a bag. Of course the cost of getting there and back would also greatly increase the cost. Besides, even with the chips, there is still no sour cream. Nope, no sour cream anywhere in all of China. Oh the humanity! Even cheese is a rarity, and an overpriced one at that. Think about it... how many Chinese dishes can you think of that are covered in melted cheese? Crazy cheeseless Chinese!
You'd think it'd be easy enough to cook some good old-fashioned westerm meals at home right? Maybe a simple spaghetti bolognaise. How difficult could that be? Ever tried making a pasta sauce without such staples as basil or oregano? Yeah, it's pretty much just mashed up tomatoes. And Chinese 5 spice just doesn't help.
However, to make up for the lack of certain familiar foods, there is an abundance of red bean products. If you like red beans, then China is the place for you! Plenty of red bean filled pastries, buns and bread, red bean drinks and shakes, even red bean ice cream. And if you're in need of a quick bean fix, just pop into McD's for their piping hot red bean pie! Who wants apple when you could have bean!
Anyhoo, I'm off to scrounge up some lunch. Wish me luck.