Part of the tour of Yangshuo with Patrick was a trip to the market. The market is divided into two parts: the fruit market (which has fruits, veggies, and a few meats) and the meat market (which has all kinds of meat, poultry, fish, and a few fruits and veggies).
Seth and I did go into the fruit market, but we were greeted by the above sign.
It is definately no myth that the Chinese eat dogs. There is a saying in China: “We eat everything with four legs except the table, we eat everything with two legs except the person.” But there is a huge difference between food dogs and pet dogs. There is a specific breed of dog (a small, yellow dog with a curly tail) that is for food and it’s name is “the meat dog.” Pets, though, are expensive to keep. If you can barely afford to feed your family, you are not going to waste money or food on an animal. But in the meat market we were warned that there were dogs, birds, and other animals in “various stages of preparation.” So we did not go to the meat market. But we did go to the veggie market and here are some of the meat critters we saw:
One thing that is a myth as a general rule, is that the Chinese don’t eat cats. Cats a tough, stringy, and don’t taste good. A few people in the south might eat cats, but not usually. As a culture, the Chinese do not eat cats.
The Chinese tend to eat all their meals family style. They have five or six large dishes of food and a big bin of rice. Every one fills their bowl with rice and then you add in the main dishes to it or you just eat right off the main dish plates. This can be unsanitary as everyone is “double-dipping” so make sure you know who you are eating with, lol.
Another important aspect of Chinese food culture is the drinking. They love to drink. Drinking is a way to show hospitality to a guest. Also by seeing who can hold their liquor the best it shows your strength. But if you are like us and don’t drink much, you really can’t drink at all. If you drink only one to be polite, they will push you to keep drinking. But if you decline at the start, say it makes you ill or you are on meducation, then they will not pressure you. You still have to drink something (water, juice, or coke) when ever someone toasts you and you have to continually toast them back. The toasting is even more important than the drinking itself. In China, the most popular drink is Bai Zhou (I think that is how it is spelled). It is a Chinese Vodka that can be anywhere from 38-57 proof. It tastes horrible, but some people like it. We tried it and it made seth ill; I just didn’t like it. It is like drinking lighter fluid.