Now, there are many different ways to eat food here in China. From street food to barbecue to restaurants. I haven’t tried all of them, it takes some courage to eat in a place like Langfang because hardly anyone speaks English and everyone stares at me. So this is a quick “How to Eat in China and Survive”.
The good news is, most of the menus have pictures.
For the most part, someone at the table orders food for the entire table at a restaurant like this. I read somewhere that the rule is one dish per person at the table plus one more or something like that. If you go out to eat with a lot of people, that’s a lot of food.
The food is usually put in the center of the table and everyone just eats out of it. There’s no “This is my dish” or anything like that, which is nice for me because then I can just eat veggies and no one really notices. 🙂
I bet you’re wondering “Will I get sick from eating the food?” Truthfully? Yep, probably. I was constantly in and out of the bathroom my first month and a half here, but truthfully, it gets better, too. I’m not sure if it’s the food itself, the way its cooked, the different levels of sanitation, or what, but I was definitely feeling the change. Chances are, you will, too.
But truthfully? It’s worth it. Don’t skip out on eating the food just because you think it might make you sick. For example, yesterday I got some kind of pancake thing from a food cart while walking home from the market. It had a pancake-type breading that was sort of like a thick crepe, an egg, some kind of little red hot dog, lettuce, and sauces. I obviously have no idea what any of that was, but I thought to myself “That little hot dog is going to make me sick” (I can’t eat hot dogs), but I ate it anyways and it was delicious. I thought “This is so worth the potential repercussions!” And, surprisingly, I am used to the food enough that I was not exponentially worse after eating that whatever it was.
So, yeah, the food will probably make you sick and people will always bring you a fork if you’re white (even if you’re good with chopsticks), but man, is the food so worth all of it.