Beijing – Tasting scorpion and climbing The Great Wall.

In between sips of The Great Wall wine and Tsing Tao Beer, I had already picked out my few favorite shots of Beijing. Having only visited this city twice, I knew I hadn’t even begun to scratch the surface of this interesting city which contains an amalgamation of the old and new. Enriched in culture, enticing cuisine and rich night life, I knew this is one city, I’d always have my camera with me, no matter how times I would visit it.

I smiled all the way to the top. It was just as magnificent as how I had imagined. Books I had read on epic wars started to depict itself on these walls.

I made it ūüôā

 Casually strolling down its wayward cobbled stone pathways, my nose caught whiffs of various smells. I recognized the distinctive smells of the  fermented tofu, barbecue sausages and red bean pastries amongst a variety of new aromas. One such scent was one of cooked scorpions. I ushered in closer for a better look leaning my face near them for inspection. The stall owner had at this time noticed my curious look and took a skewer and brazenly touched all of them. In an instant, all their tails waved up and down. They were most definitely still alive skewered by their bellies. So what will it be, he said to me in Mandarin, would you like to try some? 

uh, yes. Yes I actually would.

Would you prefer chilli flakes on them, boss?

Pile it on! Please!

He nonchalantly grabbed a skewer of three and deep-fried them in hot oil. He laid out the skewer and garnished it with chilli flakes while I looked on. With a nod, I received my culinary surprise and stared at it for a few seconds

 I was having a debate as to bite into the head or the tail first. It was decided I would dive into the pointy end.

Crunchy.

It had a texture of shrimp shells with barely any meat at all. My lips started to tingle a little. Perhaps it was my imagination, however my lips felt more itchy¬†with each and every bite. I polished off two and it was decided that my palate wanted to eat something else. Maybe I couldn’t waver the notion of the stings still having a little poison in them. I couldn’t have been full on these critters anyhow. Unless they were a lot bigger, and if so, I think it would garner another blog entry.

1/10 on taste factor

10/10 on fascination

 

I conclude this entry with this performing artiste. With a flicker of his head, he changes his mask of a different expression in less than a split of a nano second. It’s perfectly how I would sum up Beijing. If you blink too quickly, you may just miss out on the next great experience.